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Another overtime loss for Team USA

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
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Denmark's Stefan Lassen scored at 2:04 of overtime on Monday, as the Danes upset Team USA 2-1 at the IIHF World Championship in Cologne, Germany.

Lassen, a defenseman, backhanded in the rebound of his own shot after an end-to-end rush that followed a strong Danish defensive-zone play. Denmark had managed to stop a potential breakaway by U.S. forward T.J. Oshie in pinning him against the boards. The puck eventually ended up on Lassen's stick, and it was off to the races.

Rangers 2009 first-round draft pick Chris Kreider, left, and defenseman Matt Gilroy, show their obvious disappointment as they skate away from Team USA's 2-1 OT loss to Denmark on Monday.
Lassen's first shot from the left circle was stopped by U.S. goalie Scott Clemmensen of the Florida Panthers, but the Dane swooped in for the rebound, which he sent up into the top of the net for a game-winner.

It was the second straight overtime loss for the Americans, who fell to the host Germans in Friday night's opener. Team USA is now 0-0-2 in round robin play with two Group D standings points.

Three Rangers players competed on the U.S. team, and none played a bigger role than Blueshirts forward Brandon Dubinsky, who saw 22:28 of ice time to finish second behind linemate Kyle Okposo among U.S. forwards.

Skating on the Americans' No. 1 line with Okposo of the Islanders and Nick Foligno of Ottawa, Dubinsky also had two shots on goal. He saw 7:44 of ice time in the opening period, 7:00 in the second, 6:44 in the third and 1:00 in the overtime.

Rangers defenseman Matt Gilroy, who skated 3:25 in the first, 2:59 in the third and 32 seconds in OT for a total of 10:46 of ice time. He was on the ice when Lassen, a Danish league player, scored the winner and finished minus-1 for the game. Gilroy was again paired on defense with Taylor Chorney.

Blueshirts prospect Chris Kreider, who just completed his freshman season at Boston College, saw 7:27 of total ice time on the fourth line with Anaheim's Ryan Carter and Christian Hanson of the Maple Leafs. Kreider did not record a shot on goal.

Team USA outshot Denmark 31-29 for the game, but struggled against Danish goalie Patrick Galbraith, a 23-year-old who plays professionally in his native country. Earlier in the tournament, Galbraith and the Danes also upset Finland, and they now lead the Group D standings with five points.

After being outshot 11-8 over the first 20 minutes, the U.S. team came on strong in the second period, outshooting Denmark 17-5, but could only put one shot past Danish goalie Galbraith. One of those stops came on a hard, wide-open slap shot by Dubinsky at 10:55.

Denmark scored the game's first goal when St. Louis Blues prospect Lars Eller emerged from the neutral zone, skated over the blue line, and blasted home a shot from the top of the right circle past Clemmensen's glove at 8:52 of the second period.

Frans Nielsen of the Islanders and Peter Regin of the Senators picked up the assists on Eller's goal, which came right after the U.S. had managed to clear its zone.

Rangers forward Brandon Dubinsky of Team USA tries to set a screen in front of the Denmark net as he is checked by defenseman Mads Christensen.
Eller scored with 20 seconds remaining on a delay-of-game penalty to T.J. Galiardi, who had shot the puck over the glass from the defensive zone, but Team USA came back on its own power-play opportunity just over three minutes later to tie it.

Defenseman Keith Yandle of the Phoenix Coyotes got the tying goal at 12:03 of the middle period, assisted by Kyle Okposo and Jack Johnson.

Yandle's goal came 27 seconds after Regin went off for slashing Eric Nystrom in the Danish zone. Playing the puck down low to the right of Galbraith, Okposo fired a perfect backhand pass across the ice to Yandle, who pinched in from the right point and scored from the base of the right circle.

Despite the loss, Yandle was named the game's best player, receiving an award from the IIHF in a brief postgame ceremony.

Team USA will close out Group D round-robin play vs. Finland on Wednesday. The round-robin portion of the tournament will be followed by a crossover round involving all teams.

In another game at Mannheim, Germany, on Monday, Switzerland beat Italy 3-0. The Swiss team includes Andres Ambuhl, a forward who spent last season under contract to the Rangers as a member of the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack.
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