New York Rangers players celebrate a goal, during an Ice Hockey exhibition game between SC Bern and New York Rangers, at the Postfinance Arena in Bern, Switzerland, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/KEYSTONE/ Peter Schneider
BERN, Switzerland - The New York Rangers returned to Switzerland after a 49-year absence and easily beat Bern 8-1 Tuesday in an exhibition game.
Brandon Dubinsky scored twice for the Rangers, who had six goals in the third period. Dan Girardi, Wade Redden, Chris Drury, Petr Prucha, Corey Potter and Lauri Korpikoski also scored for New York.
Travis Roche scored the lone goal for Bern.
The game was scheduled as a warmup before the Rangers face European champion Metallurg Magnitogorsk at the same venue on Wednesday.
It will be the first meeting of NHL and Russian teams in 17 years and carries a US$1-million prize under the banner of the inaugural Victoria Cup, organized by the IIHF.
The Rangers then open the NHL season in Prague, Czech Republic, with a two-game series against the Tampa Bay Lighting this weekend.
Rangers coach Tom Renney said he hoped scoring six goals on power plays would jump-start his team's offence after posting a 1-5 record in pre-season games in North America.
"We are still a work in progress," Renney said. "We haven't scored a lot of goals on even strength as a group.
"We play Tampa Bay in Prague for four points. Not far from now we have to pay attention to improving ourselves to do that successfully."
Renney said he challenged his players to step up their form in the final period.
Yet at 1:02 of the third Roche, a Canadian who spent part of last season with the Phoenix Coyotes, scored for Bern to make it 2-1.
That sparked the Rangers to show some style.
Drury restored the two-goal margin during a 5-on-3 power play at 3:55 of the third. Dubinsky soon made it 4-1 with a fine solo effort, skating round the goalie to score into an open net.
Prucha added another and Korpikoski scored the sixth goal, deflecting a shot from Potter into the net. Potter strengthened his case for a roster spot three minutes later by making it 7-1.
Dubinsky completed the rout.
"It was a big opportunity for us to get our wheels moving and make sure we are ready to go," Dubinsky said. "We're pretty happy with that."
The Rangers last took to the ice in Switzerland in 1959, playing matches in Geneva and Zurich during a European exhibition tour with the Boston Bruins.
Their return drew a crowd of 16,022 at the Post-Finance Arena, one of two venues for the Swiss-hosted world championship next April 24-May 10.