If there was one lesson to be learned from Tuesday's Islanders-Rangers preseason game, it was that the stakes don't need to be high for these games to be fun.
The Islanders won 3-2 in overtime, with Josh Bailey (1G, 1A) capping off the wide-open, end-to-end extra frame by tucking home a Dennis Seidenberg rebound with 21.9 seconds to play.
"It was an exciting game," head coach Jack Capuano said. "Both teams had some chances. Both teams played well."
Cal Clutterbuck had a pair of goals in his preseason debut, while JF Berube made 23 saves in the win. Chris Kreider opened the scoring for the Rangers, Nicklas Jensen sent the game to overtime and Antti Raanta made 39 saves in the loss.
Video: NYR@NYI: Clutterbuck spins, slides one under Raanta
The opening goal didn't come until late in the second period, but what the game lacked in goals early, it more than made up for with some quality chances, acrobatic saves and physicality. Casey Cizikas set the tone with a big hit on Jesper Fast early in the first, and Eric Boulton dropped the gloves with Tanner Glass, bringing the split crowd to its feet.
Last season, Clutterbuck's line was often out after a goal against the Islanders in an effort to swing the momentum back the Isles way. Capuano kept the Islanders' energy line out after Kreider's goal and got the desired result, as Clutterbuck bounced a shot off Dylan McIlrath's skate and past Raanta, tying the game at one.
Clutterbuck put the Islanders ahead at the start of the third period, spinning off a check at the top of the crease and burying a Bailey feed past Raanta at 6:06. The lead lasted about five minutes, as Jensen beat Berube with a one-timer at 11:01.
The teams traded breakaways in the extra frame, with Berube stoning Brady Skjei at one end and Brock Nelson ringing his own rebound off the post behind a sprawled out Raanta. They appeared to be destined to go to a shootout, but after Seidenberg couldn't stuff a Jason Chimera rebound past Raanta, Bailey followed up for the winner.
"Obviously we like getting wins, but that's not our main focus right now," Bailey said. "Getting back to work and just fine tuning and feeling 100 percent is."
NOTES: Stephen Gionta left the game in the first period with a lower-body injury and did not return... Brendan Burke called his first game as the Islanders play-by-play announcer.