By Matt Calamia
Rangers prospect Oscar Lindberg stole the show with a hat trick on Friday in a 6-5 overtime loss against the Buffalo Sabres in the second game of the Traverse City tournament.
After a scoreless first period, Lindberg gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the second period, and added two goals in the third period to give him four goals in the two tournament games.
The Sabres answered quickly after Lindberg’s opening goal with three goals of their own from Nicholas Baptiste, Nikita Zadorov and Logan Nelson before the second period ended, and took a 3-1 lead into the third period.
Lindberg’s second goal came at 5:59 of the third period to make it 3-2. Danny Kristo, who was acquired by the Rangers in July from the Montreal Canadiens, picked up an assist.
The one-goal game didn’t last long, as Buffalo added two goals in 22 seconds from Baptiste and Eric Locke to make it 5-2.
New York, though, would storm back behind Lindberg’s third of the afternoon and Kristo’s first to make it 5-4. Kristo, who finished his college career with the University of North Dakota with 26 goals and 52 points in 40 games last year, has been skating on the same line with highly-touted Swedish prospects Jesper Fast and Lindberg in this tournament.
Josh Graves tied the game at 13:40 to send it to overtime. Graves spent last season with the University of Windsor where he had five assists in 26 games.
Buffalo’s Zadorov scored with 23 seconds remaining in the four-on-four overtime period to give Buffalo the 6-5 victory.
Jeff Malcolm made 33 saves in the loss. Paxton Leroux picked up his second fighting major in as many games, while Klarc Wilson picked up his first.
The Rangers face the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday at 6:30 PM in the final game before the championship round on Monday.