Avalanche Tie It Late, Win It In A Shootout
The Rangers came into Colorado being winners in 7 of their last 8 games and an NHL-Best 25 wins on the road, but couldn’t keep up their winning ways in Colorado. Rangers fell to the Avalanche 3-2 in a shootout, after the Avalanche tied the game with just 54 seconds left in the 3rd.
The Rangers opened up the scoring just 2:10 into the game, when Zuccarello made a nice pass back to the point to John Moore. Moore was able to hold onto the puck looking for a player to screen Varlamov in front, and eventually put the puck past him for the 1-0 lead. Rangers were able to keep the lead headed into the first intermission.
Just 5:10 seconds into the second period, Andre Benoit took a pass from ex-NYR John Mitchell on a 2 on 1 and was able to put the puck past Lundqvist to tie the game at 1. The Avalanche controlled most of the play in the second period, keeping the Rangers in the defensive zone. However, with 4:30 left in the second period on a counter, Stepan came down the left side on a 2 on 1 with Nash, elected to shoot and ripped one over Varlamov’s shoulder to take a 2-1 lead into the third period.
Constant back and fourth play, lead to multiple power plays in the third period for each team, both going scoreless throughout. Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy pulled his goalie Semyon Varlamov with 2 minutes to go into the third. Despite multiple face-off wins by Dominic Moore, the Rangers were unable to clear the puck. With 54 seconds left in the 3rd period, the Avalanche won the face-off and Tyson Barrie ripped one past Lundqvist to tie the game at 2. Rangers ended the final 17 minutes of the third period with just 1 shot on goal.
Headed to OT, the play was even on both ends till about the 1:45 mark where the Rangers kept a tired Avalanche team buried in their own zone for about a minute. Rangers had plenty of chances to put one past Varlamov, but he came up huge for the Avalanche. The game would go to a shootout where Tyson Barrie, who got the game-tying goal, would be the only goal scorer in the shootout, to give the Avalanche a 3-2 win.
The Rangers are now 4 points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers, who also have 2 games in hand. The Rangers will next take on the Ottawa Senators at home on Saturday at 7:00PM. If the Rangers are able to get 2 points in that game, they will likely clinch a spot in the playoffs.