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McDonagh, Rangers Top the Flyers in Overtime

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia / NYRangers.com

Alain Vigneault said this morning players in camp were making decisions for him and his staff all the more difficult as the team trims down its roster ahead of next Thursday's home opener.

While some of those choices may have been decided, the bench boss said evaluations will continue tomorrow in Philadelphia after the Rangers edged these same Flyers, 3-2, in overtime on a goal by Ryan McDonagh.

"We've got one more game here," Vigneault said. "A lot of those players are going to play on back-to-back nights. They're going to have another opportunity to show what they can do. We'll have to make decisions."

The team's youngest players once again played large roles for the Blueshirts. Filip Chytil centered Rick Nash and Pavel Buchnevich for the first two periods and ended the night with four shots on goal in 17:57. 

Fellow forward Vinni Lettieri continued to push his case for a spot on the roster and was rewarded with 18:12 of ice time, third-highest among Ranger forwards behind just Mika Zibanejad and Buchnevich.

Henrik Lundqvist turned in a mid-season performance in his first full 60-minute effort of the preseason, finishing with 37 saves, including 17 in the third period and overtime. 

"It was perfect. When you get three starts, for me it's not the amount of starts its the amount of action I see in those three games," said Lundqvist, who stopped 60 of 63 shots he faced in his final two exhibition appearances. "I felt like in every game I got involved, I got to work. In the end we got the win."

Lundqvist, who will not play Tuesday in Philadelphia, said Monday's game afforded him the chance to review plenty of tape between now and next Thursday's season-opener against Colorado.

"Overall, it felt like a good test for me to work on my game," he said. "I get good feedback when I sit down to watch the game later and analyze a little bit. I have a week now to really work on everything in my game to make sure it's as good as it can be."

Video: PHI@NYR: McDonagh buries game-winner in overtime

Rick Nash got the Rangers on the board with a power play goal just 3:16 into the contest. After Philadelphia's Travis Sanheim scored both Flyers goals, it was Mika Zibanejad who tied things midway through the third to set up McDonagh's game-winner in the five-minute period.

The Rangers' three wins this preseason have come in the three-on-three period. While the points may not count, McDonagh said the team can carry that success into the regular season.

"We've talked about trying to be a quick, mobile group back there and up front too," said McDonagh, who finished with 23:58 of ice time. "It's good to take advantage of that time and space on the ice and find a way to finish."

The Rangers wrap up the preseason Tuesday night in Philadelphia. There are plenty of decisions left for Vigneault and his staff, but the way he sees it, it's out of his hands already.

"We've still got 34 players at this time, so we're going to get down to 24, 25 here after tomorrow," he said. "We're going to have to let them play and they'll make the decisions for us by how they're playing."

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