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Depleted Rangers Top Oilers in Edmonton

Grabner Scores Twice in Victory

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia /

EDMONTON - Despite two key injuries up front, the Rangers were able to outlast the Oilers, 3-1, at Rogers Place in Edmonton Sunday night.

Michael Grabner remained hot with a pair of goals and Antti Raanta made 38 saves to remain perfect on the season.

The Blueshirts were without both Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich for the game. Kreider is out with an upper-body injury while Buchnevich - who skated in warmups - missed the contest with back spasms.

"We're going to have more of these situations where we're playing in a back to back and the other team has not played the night before," said Derek Stepan. "We knew it was going to be a game where we're going to have to … grind it out. We go down two more players and really it's a good way to sum up the night. We just grinded it out.

Grabner's first of the night opened the scoring in the first period when he buried a rebound passed goaltender Cam Talbot off a Kevin Klein opportunity to put New York up 1-0 just 1:20 into the contest.

Video: NYR@EDM: Grabner nets his second goal on a breakaway

No. 40 struck again late in the second period when he picked off a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins pass at the Rangers blueline and broke in alone on Talbot. The initial shot was stopped, but Grabner was able to put home the rebound. The goal was reviewed but counted to put the Rangers up 3-1.

"I didn't see much net on the breakaway," Grabner said. "[I] kind of made some moves. That's just the way it goes. If you score one you get some confidence and the puck just finds a way in."

Dan Girardi scored in the first period, and now leads all Rangers defensemen in goals with three.

Andrej Sekera scored for Edmonton.

Video: NYR@EDM: Raanta reacts quickly to turn away Kassian

Raanta, getting his second start in three games, was sharp throughout the contest. His best save of the night came on the shift immediately following Grabner's first of the night, when he robbed Zack Kassian on a breakaway with his right leg. 

"It's nice to play when the team is playing like that," said Raanta, who is 4-0 this season. "We had a tough game last night and everyone knew that Edmonton was coming hard tonight. Everybody moved their - everything they had in the tanks. It was pretty hard fight the last 40 minutes. Against that kind of team, they have so much skill in their offense. Guys were doing a great job in front of me. It was nice to get lots of saves and make good saves and help the team win."

Due to the injuries to Kreider and Buchnevich, the Rangers dressed seven defensemen, though Adam Clendening did not play a shift. Oscar Lindberg replaced Kreider but was held off the scoresheet. There was no update on either player's condition after the game.

Grabner's 10 goals this season have already eclipsed his nine last year in his one and only season with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He's currently one of five players in the NHL with at least 10 goals. He said he hasn't changed much as a Ranger, but is playing with a new found confidence.

"I haven't really changed much," Grabner said. "I'm just trying to go out there, play my role and it's just been going good from the start. From the first game on. That's a big part of hockey. When you get confidence, you go out there not thinking. good things happen."

The Rangers road trip continues Tuesday night in Vancouver against the Canucks.

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