NEW YORK — The tribute videos never get old when a player returns to face against his former team for the first time.
On Monday, it was Ducks center Ryan Strome – who played 263 games with the New York Rangers and was a big part of their playoff run last spring – who took his turn in the spotlight. The Rangers acknowledged Strome’s contribution to the organization with a video tribute during a TV timeout in the first period. Earlier, there was also a ‘thank you’ to another former New York Ranger forward, the Ducks’ Frank Vatrano.
“It was good,” said Strome, who signed with the Ducks as a free agent in the summer. “It was a little emotional. A lot of good friends here … I spent a lot of time here and a lot of special memories. When you can touch people’s lives and your life is impacted by good people – that’s what it’s all about.
He smiled when the ovation was mentioned, saying: “A couple of people on their feet, so I did something right.”
Defenseman Colton White made his Ducks debut and drew praise from Coach Dallas Eakins and teammate Troy Terry.
“I thought (White) jumped in there – he hasn’t played for quite a while now,” Eakins said. “I thought he skated well. He played even more physical than I expected he would. He moved the puck. I thought overall he was pretty solid.”
White signed a two-year, two-way contract with the Ducks in July. He played eight minutes, had a shot on goal and registered two hits against the Rangers. White was put on the third defense pair with Kevin Shattenkirk.
“I’ve been there – it’s hard to be out of the lineup and then get thrown in,” Terry said. “Especially against a team like that. They’ve got firepower.
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“I loved his game. Especially for us. He’s a great kid and when he comes in and he’s showing poise back there and making plays, it fires all of us up.”
Eakins had hinted Sunday that lineup changes would be coming, and he made a handful of moves against the Rangers. Also playing his first game for the Ducks was right wing Brett Leason. Leason, who was picked up on waivers last week from Washington, drew in on the fourth line with center Derek Grant and Max Comtois. Coming out of the lineup were forward Jakob Silfverberg, who has been under the weather, and defenseman Simon Benoit.
Ducks forward Pavol Regenda assisted on Vatrano’s goal in the first period and added another assist on Grant’s third-period goal. They were the first points of Regenda’s NHL career.
“I’m happy about that,” Regenda said. “But I’d rather have zero points every game and we would win.”