Powe & Miller Ready For Ranger Debuts

The Rangers held a full-team morning skate Tuesday at the Prudential Center in Newark, with newcomers Darroll Powe and JT Miller taking part in their first session with their new teammates. Powe, who was acquired in a trade with Minnesota on Monday, and Miller, the Rangers 2011 top draft pick who was recalled from the Connecticut Whale Monday afternoon, will both make their Rangers debuts this evening against the New Jersey Devils.

Powe, a veteran of nearly 300 NHL games, will slot in on either the third or fourth line tonight for the Rangers, and will likely see some time on the penalty kill, as well. The 19 year-old Miller confirmed that he will play center in his NHL debut.

"I have been looking forward to this since I was a little kid," Miller said after the morning skate. "I slept well last night, was pretty relaxed. But I am anxious to get going now. I am excited."

There will be ten people in Miller's personal cheering section tonight at the Prudential Center, with his parents and girlfriend among those traveling from the Pittsburgh area to see his NHL debut. Miller also explained that his 93 year-old great-grandfather recently passed away---JT buried him with the gold medal he earned at the 2013 World Junior Championships---and that he will be on his mind when he takes to the ice this evening.

"I've watched JT during the lockout and I've watched him in the World Juniors, and I think his game has really grown," Rangers head coach John Tortorella said of Miller. "I thought he had a great tournament there, and he has become more consistent in Hartford. We want to take a look, and if good things keep happening for him we'll keep playing him. But we are always are thinking of the process and of developing him the right way, making sure we do things correctly."

For Powe tonight's game marks a return to the Atlantic Division battles he took part in when he began his career with the Philadelphia Flyers. Now after a couple of seasons in Minnesota, he is back in the Atlantic following Monday's trade in which Mike Rupp was dealt to the Wild.

"The Rangers are a great organization, a great team, and I am excited to be here," said Powe, 27. "It's a hard-working team, with tight-checking, so hopefully I will fit in well."

One of the areas where Powe should feel right at home is in blocking shots. Last year he ranked second in the NHl among forwards in blocked shots, one behind league-leader Brooks Laich of Washington and three ahead of Rangers captain Ryan Callahan.

"Shot blocking tells me you want to win games," said Powe. "It builds good team chemistry."

Those words, of course, should be music to Tortorella's ears.

"Powe is a guy that can kill penalties and does a lot of little things, and certainly adds to our depth in a lot of different situations," the head coach said of his new forward. "We're happy to get him."


Henrik Lundqvist is back between the pipes for the Rangers tonight after Marty Biron backstopped Saturday's 3-2 road win in Tampa. However the rest of the lineup is not yet known. 

Tortorella said he had settled on a lineup this morning, but wasn;t ready to share it with the media.

Injured team captain Ryan Callahan and defenseman Steve Eminger were the only two Rangers to stay late on the ice this morning and work on their conditioning, indicating that they will definitely be among the scratches.

Are you excited for the NHL debut of JT Miller? And what of Darroll Powe? Share your thoughts below.

Feb 5 - 5:50pm