Dylan McIlrath had one of the best seats in the house Monday when the New York Rangers beat the New Jersey Devils 3-0.
The Rangers’ first round pick was at Madison Square Gardens for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference final series after being called up by the Rangers earlier in the day and added to their playoff roster.
McIlrath played five playoff games with the Rangers’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Connecticut Whale, after the Moose Jaw Warriors season ended in the Eastern Conference final. McIlrath had nine penalty minutes and no points while playing beside Whale captain Wade Redden.
The Whale lost their AHL Eastern Conference semifinal to the Norfolk Admirals in six games. The Admirals finished the series with a 2-1 overtime win Friday.
McIlrath got his chance to step into the line-up when Brendan Bell went down with an injury.
Joining McIlrath as call-ups from Connecticut is defencemen Tim Erixon, goalie Cam Talbot and forwards Casey Wellman, J.T. Miller and Kris Newbury. None of the call-ups are expected to see any time with the Rangers at this point in the post-season.
Fellow Warrior, Quinton Howden, played four games with the San Antonio Rampage in their five-game series with the Oklahoma City Barons in the AHL’s Western Conference semifinals. Howden was pointless with the Rampage playing with Michal Repik and Scott Timmins. He was a minus-one with two penalty minutes.