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Rangers 4, Islanders 3, OT

January 14, 1999

NEW YORK (AP) _ Adam Graves scored with 1:52 left in overtime to give the New York Rangers a 4-3 victory over the struggling New York Islanders on Wednesday night.

The Rangers took the lead in the third period, then lost it in regulation before Graves’ won it with the help of a great play by Wayne Gretzky.

John MacLean, who had earlier tied the game for the Rangers in the third, took control of the puck behind the goal line and passed out to Gretzky in the right circle. The Rangers’ center quickly released the puck to Graves down low and he put it into an open net with goaltender Felix Potvin leaning the other way.

Graves’ 19th goal capped a wild finish in which the teams scored four times in 12 minutes and gave the Rangers their fourth straight victory over their metropolitan area rivals.

The Islanders’ winless streak reached nine games (0-8-1).

Ulf Samuelsson and Petr Nedved also scored for the Rangers. Mark Lawrence, Mariusz Czerkawski and Kenny Jonsson scored for the Islanders.

The Islanders scored 21 seconds into the game when Lawrence chipped a bouncing puck over Mike Richter’s shoulder from outside the crease. The Rangers tied it at 3:05 when Gretzky threw the puck on net and it deflected in off Samuelsson’s skate. The teams were skating four aside at the time.

The Islanders went ahead 2-1 at 6:44 of the second when Czerkawski beat Richter from about 15 feet on the left side.

MacLean tied it at 11:48 of the third period when he picked up a loose puck between the circles and beat Felix Potvin between the pads. Nedved scored from the left circle at 12:25 to put the Rangers ahead 3-2.

Jonsson then tied it for the Islanders with 2:52 left in regulation when he beat Richter with a shot from above the right circle.

Potvin, who made 23 saves, was playing his second game for the Islanders since his acquisition in a trade with Toronto on Saturday and just his seventh game of the season.

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