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Rangers prospects down Tampa Bay 3-2 in 2OT

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers


· Prospects Tournament Preview and Roster

The New York Rangers prospects team got off to a strong start on Friday night in the Traverse City Prospects Tournament at the Detroit Red Wings' training facility in Traverse City, Mich., by beating Tampa Bay's prospect team 3-2 in double overtime.

Defenseman Marc Staal, the Blueshirts' 2005 first-round draft pick, scored the game-winner for the Rangers' prospects on a power play with 56 seconds left in the second overtime. Pinching in from the top of the slot, Staal took a nice feed from Jakub Petruzalek, who was playing on the off wing. Staal pulled in the puck and rifled it into the net for the victory.

The Rangers had led the game 2-0 late in the third period before giving up a pair of goals to force the two overtimes. After a scoreless opening period, Petruzalek picked up his first of two assists by feeding Brandon Dubinsky for the game's first goal at 13:59 of the second period.

Center Tom Pyatt, a 2005 Rangers draft pick, made it 2-0 at 7:17 of the third off an assist from 2003 first-rounder Lauri Korpikoski before Tampa Bay came back to force the tie.

With just under three minutes remaining in the game, Tampa Bay's Zbynek Hrdl beat Rangers goaltender Chris Holt for the first Lightning score. Fellow Czech player Marek Kvapil then tallied with only five seconds left in regulation to force overtime. Holt, the goalie who led Hartford into the second round of the 2006 Calder Cup playoffs, came back strong in the two overtimes and finished the game with 28 saves. The Rangers outshot the Lightning 34-30.

Both overtimes were set for three minutes as opposed to the standard five minutes used in NHL games. The first overtime was played in a standard 4-on-4 format, and another skater was removed so the teams could skate 3-on-3 in the second overtime. When Tampa Bay took a penalty midway through the second OT, the teams went back to 4-on-3 for the remainder of the game until Staal's winning goal.

The Rangers prospects play again at 4 p.m. Saturday against the Atlanta Thrashers prospect team. A third round-robin game is scheduled for Monday against Detroit, and the final-round games will be played on Tuesday.

NEW YORK RANGERS PROSPECTS' LINEUP VS. TAMPA BAY
FORWARD LINES
Left Wing Center Right Wing
Lauri Korpikoski Brandon Dubinsky Rick Kozak
Zdenek Bahensky Bruce Graham Greg Moore
Eric Hunter Tom Pyatt Ryan Callahan
Ryan Hillier Marc-Andre Cliche Jakub Petruzalek
DEFENSE PAIRINGS
Left Defense Right Defense
Marc Staal Philippe Furrer
Dalyn Flatt Marvin Degon
Hannu Pikkarainen Corey Potter
Goaltenders: Chris Holt, John Murray
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