Normally, I don’t take notes during preseason games because whatever. But there was a lot going on during Tuesday night’s Rangers-Islanders game (which I probably should have known), so if I forget something or leave out a play or player worth mentioning, feel free to pop it into the comments.
Cal Clutterbuck scored twice and Josh Bailey ended the game with an overtime goal, as the Islanders beat the Rangers 3-2 at Barclays Center. It was the Islanders’ second win in two days, having beaten the Devils in Brooklyn one night earlier.
The game was spirited throughout, and the Islanders controlled play for most of it, outshooting the Rangers 42-25. Despite that disparity, there seemed to be a ton of scoring chances between the teams and both goalies had to be ready. Rangers starter Antii Raanta made 39 saves and Jean-Francois Berube made 23.
After a scoreless first period (featuring a bout between grizzled gladiators Eric Boulton and Tanner Glass), the Rangers struck first late in the second when Chris Kreider tripped a Marc Staal shot past Berube. A minute and a half later, Clutterbuck scored his first of the night just by throwing the puck on net from almost the goal line. The puck snuck past Raanta and the game was tied.
The Islanders took the lead in the third when Clutterbuck scored on a spinning stuff shot from the top of the crease. Not quite Denis Savard, but it worked.
The Rangers tied it with about nine minutes to go when Nicklas Jensen hammered a cross-ice feed from Kreider past a sprawling, pad-stacking Berube. The puck actually hit the post, rolled around it and in.
The teams traded scoring chances, with the Islanders having some golden opportunities. Anthony Beauvillier, who played a very high energy game, had a shot from the slot, as did Nikolay Kulemin, who took a wild hack that was stopped by Raanta. One rebound squirted away from Raanta, and defenseman Adam Pelech tried to swoop in and shovel it home but was denied.
In the overtime, Nick Leddy started out with a carry-in that gave the Islanders possession and few scoring chances. It went back-and-forth for a few minutes, and the best stop was Berube blocking Brady Skjei on a clear breakaway. Brock Nelson followed with a breakaway of his own, but his first shot was stopped by Raanta and his second hit the near post.
With about 20 seconds to go, Bailey stuffed in a rebound from a shot by defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, playing his first game as an Islander. It wasn’t the prettiest or most memorable goal scored on the evening, but it was enough to end the game.
Bailey played very well on a line with Beauvillier, who continues to impress. But don’t take my word for it.
Islanders Anthony Beauvillier showing why he's one of the game's top prospects in this preseason. NYI have some tough decisions to make.— Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) October 5, 2016
You could argue to keep 1 of Barzal or Beauvillier, or send both back and use Ho-Sang. Like I said, that's a real tough call ahead. https://t.co/KuZzXQHBTK— Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) October 5, 2016
The bad news for Beauvillier was that Butch Goring, predictably, massacred his last name a few different ways until finally giving up and just calling him “Bo” from about the middle of the second period on.
Speaking of announcers, tonight was Brendan Burke’s first game as the Islanders play-by-play announcer and he did fine job, even giving the audience some heartfelt words on his finally getting a shot at the NHL. After the game, second star Clutterbuck gave Burke a special gift, too.
The Islanders’ third and final game of this stretch is Wednesday night in New Jersey.