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Rangers Drop Traverse-Opener to Stars

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia /

TRAVERSE CITY - The Rangers' Traverse City squad was unable to protect a two-goal lead in the third period, as they surrendered the opening game of this four-game prospect tournament to the Dallas Stars, 7-5, on Friday night.

Brett Howden had a pair of assists while Ville Meskanen, Lias Andersson, Michael Lindqvist and Libor Hajek for the Blueshirts, who finished the night with three goals on the power play.

But after leading 5-3 early in the third, the Stars' prospect team tallied three straight goals, including the game-winner on the power play with 4:38 remaining in the contest.

Howden connected with Meskanen just 5:17 into the contest when he circled behind the net and fed the Finnish winger in front to put New York up 1-0.

After Dallas tied the game and then took the lead, invitee Jakub Stukel picked off a clearing attempt by Dallas' netminder and found Andersson in front for the easy tally with 2:35 left in the opening period.

Howden again got things going offensively again with the Blueshirts on the power play, when teed up a shot for Hajek, who blasted a shot from the point to put the Rangers back up by a goal.

Miro Heiskanen, the third overall pick in 2017, once again evened the score late in the third. But Filip Chytil drew Heiskanen into a penalty in the final minute of the second and New York once again made the most of the man advantage when Michael Lindqvist's shot found a lane through traffic to give the Rangers its fourth lead of the evening. 

But after Stukel scored a goal of his own that made it 5-3, Dallas scored four unanswered goals, including an empty-netter in the final minute.

The tournament continues Saturday night against Minnesota at 6:30 pm.

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