Strong Starts a Must on Road Trip

The Rangers hit the ice Monday morning before embarking on a three-game road trip that begins Tuesday in Philadelphia against the Flyers. Despite losing in a shootout Sunday night against the Capitals, the team was upbeat and took positives in the fact they were able to secure a point after trailing 2-0.

Only three players — Rick Nash, Anton Stralman and J.T. Miller — did not take part in the team practice. Miller is dealing with a wrist injury while Nash and Stralman were given maintenance days.


The players spoke about the team's continued need to get off to strong starts and play with the lead, something that has plagued them all season. The team has surrendered the first goal of the game in 20 of its 31 games this season. The Rangers are 7-11-2 when allowing the first goal this season, compared to 8-2-1 when scoring first.

"It's different to play with the lead," Marian Gaborik said. "Hopefully we can have a good start and start with a good few shifts and hopefully get a goal and get the lead."

Defenseman Michael Del Zotto said last night's effort to tie the game after allowing two early goals was a positive, but the team needs to do better out of the gate due to the team's offensive woes.

"Our starts haven't been our best lately. We did a good job of coming back but any time you're down 2-0 — especially with the way we've been struggling scoring goals — it's tough to come back," Del Zotto said. "We did a good job. We got a point. We would have liked two, but we're trying to stay positive in the room here. We have a big road trip ahead of us."


The Rangers have struggled on the road this season, going 5-7-1, compared to 10-6-2 at home. 11 of the team's remaining 17 games are away from Madison Square Garden.


Ryan McDonagh said he thinks this road trip can be beneficial for the team.

"I think it's good for us to get on the road here, get that road mentality," he said. "Simplifying your game, playing hard for each other. You against the away crowd."

Last season, the Rangers went 24-12-5 away from MSG. McDonagh, though, said he doesn't believe much has changed in the team's mindset and preparation for road games.


He told that its more "a matter of execution. We're getting chances and putting ourselves in a position to get points. We just haven't been able to do that as much on the road this year as in the past."


Gaborik echoed McDonagh's sentiments, and said not much has changed, but that the team must play with confidence.


"We have to have a good start and try and get a lead. Play like we can," he told "We have a good team. We just have to play with confidence and play good defensively and go from there."



The newly formed fourth line of Arron Asham, Kris Newbury and Darroll Powe was a spark for the Rangers last night. Asham scored the team's first goal of the night, with Newbury picking up an assist, and the trio drew a penalty that led to Derek Stepan's goal.


After practice, Newbury said he was happy his line gave the Rangers a jump.

"I think knowing that I'm coming up, I think that's what I try and bring to the game," he told "Sometimes it doesn't go the way you want, but I think last night we were able to make some plays just by getting the puck in and going to work. Hopefully it continues."

Newbury said he's looking forward to the upcoming trip, especially Tuesday in Philadelphia.


"The thing for me is I've got to stay disciplined. I can't have them take me off my game," he said. "Play simple, play hard and stay out of the box."

Mar 25 - 6:23pm