Rangers fall again to Avalanche, lose two regulation games in a row for first time

new york rangers
Dec 14, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson (6) pushes down New York Rangers right wing Julien Gauthier (15) in front of goaltender Darcy Kuemper (35) in the second period at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers came into Denver looking for some payback against the Colorado Avalanche. They were also trying to avoid taking consecutive regulation losses for the first time this season.

Another evening of unforced errors and bad penalties cost them, as the Avs capitalized on their opportunities to beat the Blueshirts again.

Recap: Avalanche 4 v Rangers 2

The Blueshirts skating legs were on display in the early going of the first period. Taking a lesson from their last game against the Predators where they came out flat being out hit 20-8. That wasn’t the case here as they held the edge physically.

Things went south once Patrik Nemeth took an unnecessary holding penalty at 8:42 which turned the entire period the Avalanche way. Even though they didn’t score on that advantage, they built up momentum.

alexandar georgiev
Dec 14, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Avalanche right wing Mikko Rantanen (96) shoots the puck at New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) as defenseman K’Andre Miller (79) defends in the second period at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Mikko Rantanen got the game’s first goal 12:18 in as both Libor Hajek and Nemeth lost their men in front. That was followed up with a PP goal by Cale Makar, who used Nemeth as a screen with 1:49 remaining for a 2-0 Avs lead after 1 period of play.

In the second period the Rangers would get an early PP that was negated by a bad call. Dryden Hunt was stationary and trying to hold the line when an Avs defender backed into him. A huge chance to build momentum thwarted.

Ryan Reaves would give the team a boost when he dropped the gloves with Avs’ heavyweight Kurtis MacDermid at 9:45. The bout was a draw but the Rangers would get a goal just 51 seconds later.

Artemi Panarin moved the puck to the point where Adam Fox performed his magic. He found Ryan Strome to the left of Darcy Kuemper for a fortunate tip.

Unfortunately, that momentum was short-lived as they got loose with the puck and made unforced errors. The Avs kept coming in waves late and restored their two-goal advantage with just 1:15 on the clock thanks to a Valeri Nichushkin rebound tally.

The third period was an entertaining affair that saw the Rangers pull it to 3-2 with Georgiev pulled. Julien Gauthier put home the rebound of a Hunt shot and got the Blueshirts’ fans in attendance chanting for the road team.

In the end, Nichushkin sealed the game on an unassisted breakaway off a lost face-off with 37 seconds left.

“I thought we played a good hard game,” Gerard Gallant said. “We played against a real good hockey team that plays really fast. We made a couple of mistakes, but overall we played a good game.”

Notable Rangers

  • Alexandar Georgiev made 27 saves on 31 quality shots
  • Artemi Panarin added an assist for 10 points in his last six games
  • Adam Fox picked up his 25th assist, most among defenseman

Tomorrow (Wednesday, Dec. 15): Gerard Gallant Availability – 5:00 PM MT (Gila River Arena)

Next Game: Wednesday, Dec. 15 at Arizona Coyotes (7:00 PM MT – TV: MSG)

*Schedule subject to change

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