Assuming Jimmy Vesey and Michael Grabner have opening-night jobs with the Rangers locked up, that leaves five forwards vying for two roster spots.

With the release of Max Lapierre from his professional tryout, the Rangers had some competitions better outlined as they lost 3-2 in overtime to the Islanders on Tuesday night at Barclays Center.

One battle is for fourth-line center, vacant since Dominic Moore left this summer as a free agent. Fighting for that spot are Marek Hrivik and the diminutive veteran Nathan Gerbe, both needing to excel at penalty killing to show the most worth. Coach Alain Vigneault seemed enamored of Hrivik’s play early in training camp, but his game might have flatlined.

“I’ve liked parts of his game,” Vigneault said of the 25-year-old before the game, when Hrivik got only 9:26 of ice time compared to Gerbe’s 20:31, which included an assist. “We’re giving him a good opportunity here to show that he can play in the NHL. Again, he’s a young player that’s played in Hartford for a number of years. He’s shown a steady progression. We’re giving him a good opportunity here. He’s in the mix, and we’ll see what happens.”

There likely is a spot open in the top nine, as well, seemingly being fought over by Pavel Buchnevich and Brandon Pirri.

Buchnevich has shown a quick acclimation to the North American game even though he was held off the scoresheet in his first three games and did not play Tuesday.

“I think anybody that has watched him closely sees that offensively, he’s creating opportunities,” Vigneault said of the 21-year-old Russian. “He hasn’t finished, but he’s getting some real grade-A scoring opportunities. He has, in my estimation, been poised on the power play. Defensively, he’s working extremely hard to get back and help and try to implement some of the things we’ve been working on.