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Rangers Fall to Islanders in Overtime

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia /

With another preseason game in the books the Rangers are expected to further trim its training camp roster following Tuesday night's 3-2 overtime loss to the New York Islanders in Brooklyn.

The loss drops the Rangers to 2-2-1 on the preseason, which concludes Thursday night against the Flyers at Madison Square Garden.

Chris Kreider and Nicklas Jensen scored and goaltender Antti Raanta, who played the full 60 minutes in goal, finished with 37 saves in the defeat.

It was a tale of two games, as neither team had much going offensively during the first 35 minutes of the contest thanks in large part to Raanta's goaltending. But the Rangers eventually did break through when Chris Kreider got a piece of Marc Staal's shot from the point to beat Islanders goaltender Jean-Francois Berube and put the Rangers up, 1-0, at 16:42 of the second period.

Video: NYR@NYI: Kreider opens the scoring with a deflection

But the lead was short lived, as Cal Clutterbuck scooped up a loose puck and fired a wrist shot along the ice that Raanta could not handle to knot the game, 1-1, just 51 seconds after Kreider's goal.

With J.T. Miller in the box for tripping, it was Clutterbuck who struck again. Clutterbuck was unguarded at the top of the crease and found the loose puck, which he buried under Raanta to put the Islanders ahead, 2-1.

But the Rangers had an answer of their own midway through the third period. Kreider fed a cross-ice pass to Nicklas Jensen, who went top shelf to beat Berube and tie the game, 2-2, with 8:59 to play. It was Jensen's first of the preseason.

Video: NYR@NYI: Jensen rips goal over sliding Berube

Jensen, who was acquired last season from Vancouver, said he's tried not to overthink the situation he and many forwards find themselves in battling for few roster spots this preseason.

"There's a lot of guys battling for one or two spots, if even," Jensen said. "It's tough competition, but you kind of put that aside. You're playing with your team and you're trying to win with your team. If you play like that, I think individually you play better too. You try to stick to your game, not do too much and play simple. Try and learn as much as the coaches tell you."

After a frantic overtime that saw the team's trade chances, it was Josh Bailey who buried a rebound off a Denis Seidenberg shot that Raanta couldn't control to lift the hosts to victory.

Raanta was the busier of the two netminders, as he faced 40 shots to Berube's 25. But the goaltender said in the preseason, that could be a positive.

"I think that's what all the goalies want always," Raanta told reporters after the game. "There was lots of clear shots, so it was nice to get going. I think if you compare this to Saturday's Devils game, there was lots of bad rebounds that came straight in front of the net. I think that was a little bit better today. Little things you want to improve and it's always fun to play these games."

The Rangers are expected to make cuts tomorrow, and head coach Alain Vigneault said he and his staff are still coming to those decisions, which are both up front and on the back end.

"We've got one more game here to finalize roster decisions," said Vigneault, who said he had originally planned to have his near opening night roster set for Thursday's game, but that will not be the case. "We still have a couple decisions to make. Some players are going to get another opportunity here to show us what they have. Hopefully some of them will grab it."

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