The Stars figured to be stiff competition for the Rangers tonight, coming off an 8-2 shellacking of Carolina and playing highly regarded first round pick Jack Campbell in net. In many ways it was, but the Rangers to their credit took it to their opposition, particularly in the first and third periods.
Dallas had a moderate territorial advantage through the first twenty, but it was the Rangers who lead 3-1 on the scoreboard, thank to goals from JT Miller, Shane McColgan and Ryan Bourque. The Stars bounced back in the second, and had the advantage, but managed only a PP goal late in the period to pull within one.
But the third period belonged to New York. A 19-3 shot advantage lead to three more goals and what turned out to be a dominating performance for a team that now has outscored their opponents 11-4.
Traverse City Tournament veteran, Bourque was amongst the Rangers' best on the night showing his confidence in the second period with a couple of partial breaks and an effective hit on a 6-7 opponent. He picked up a goal when his centering pass to Jordan Hickmott was deflected in by Dallas defender Jace Coyle, and added a second on a five on three to give the Rangers a 6-2 lead in the third.
It was pleasing to see the Rangers 2011 Draft Picks step up in the game. Miller was the pick though, scoring the Rangers' first goal just 21 seconds into the game, and looking much more comfortable in the offensive zone. Linemate Michael St Croix also looked much improved over yetersday's quiet effort, though could use some extra jam to his game. Californian native McColgan picked up the Rangers second goal on a nice fake, and stepped into respond to a check from behind on Christian Thomas that earned him 17 minutes of penalties for the instigator.
On defense Samuel Noreau looked much more steady in his second game. Yesterday's assist leader - Blake Parlett - got better as the game went on, breaking up a short handed two on one and throwing a solid check in the second and adding two more assists to his three from yesterday. Dylan McIlrath didn't get as many shots on net, but showed that he can win a fight when called upon, easily taking care of D'Aoust. Tim Erixon again had a confident, though understated game, but he looked confident once again handling the puck.
Defenseman Lee Baldwin got his first start and had a couple of nice shifts in the third, including taking the shot that resulted in Andrew Yogan's goal. Yogan and Christian Thomas generated fewer offensive chances than yesterday, but both featured on the scoresheet when the game was done.
Some concern for Yogan who may have hurt his shoulder late in the game. Yogan missed much of last year after a physical at last year's tournament uncovered some damage to his shoulder, ultimately leading to surgery.
Up front Jonathan Audy-Marchessault looked creative once again, and could well be attending Rangers camp next week. Debutants Jordan Hickmott and Kale Kerbashian got mentions, with Hickmott driving to the net on Bourque's goal, Kerbashian picking up a secondary assist on Yogan's goal.
Tough guy Jason Wilson even managed to get on the score sheet, finishing off some nice work by Parlett, whose shot rebounded off the post straight to Wilson for the easy finish.
Scott Stajcer looked more comfortable and mobile than Jason Missiaen did in yesterday's game, but got the same sort of support his fellow netminder got, with the defense making it hard for Dallas to get second effort. There's still some question as to whether he has the ability to go lateral, but he was well positioned on the first shot.
Invitee Colin Bowman looked nervous in his first game, which included a minor penalty and a fall while killing off the penalty that could've given the attacker a clean path to the net if not for Bourque's recovery.
Rangers scratched forwards Randy McNaught, Tommy Grant and Matt Rust, along with defensemen Peter Ceresnak and Jyri Niemi.
Tomorrow is a break day for the teams, and the Rangers will get a chance to win their pool on Tuesday when they face the Carolina Hurricanes 3:30 EST - MSG/NHL.