Rangers rocked by Avalanche, spoil Lundkvist’s first NHL goal

gerard gallant rangers
Dec 8, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant reacts during the second period against the Colorado Avalanche at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers landed back home at 2:30 AM from Chicago. It showed in the opening few minutes as the Colorado Avalanche had the early jump.

Adam Huska was making is NHL debut and it was baptism by fire as the Avs poured it on a jet lagged Rangers team.

Recap: Avalanche 7 vs Rangers 3

Mikko Rantanen opened the scoring using Adam Fox as a screen. His shot eluded Huska just 4:11 into the game on just the third shot he faced. Instead of wilting, Huska toughened up and stopped the next 16 fired his way for 18 saves on 19 shots in the first 20 minutes.

The Rangers also wasted no time lifting his spirits when Jacob Trouba, who has been red-hot, fired a cannon by Darcy Kuemper to even the score just 2:45 later. Artemi Panarin and Ryan Reaves would pick up the helpers.

Colorado tried to get the momentum back with Ryan Strome in the box for tripping. However, it was the PK unit of Kevin Rooney and Barclay Goodrow that actually created two odd man rushes to keep the pendulum in the Blueshirts favor.

“Goody is a great penalty killer and we are starting to gel here,” Rooney said about their big PK in the first.

Then the Rangers PP went to work, and it was the second unit that cashed in. Highly touted rookie Nils Lundkvist would rifle a shot over Kuemper’s shoulder to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead on his first ever NHL goal. Trouba and Filip Chytil notched the assists, while Kaapo Kakko retrieved the keepsake for Lundkvist.

In the second period, Nathan MacKinnon would even it early by using his strength and reach to poke a puck past Huska. It was one the 24 year-old would likely want a do-over on as he looked surprised on the play.

Colorado would go on to score four more and bury a sloppy Rangers squad in the middle stanza. The only highlight, if you want to call it that, was Trouba catching Nathan MacKinnon with a solid hit. He would fight Gabriel Landeskog to pick up his second straight Gordie Howe Hat Trick (1G, 1A, FIGHT).

MacKinnon would leave the ice due to concussion protocol but returned for the third period.

The Rangers and Avalanche would trade goals in the final stanza with Chytil breaking a long goal drought of 10 games. When it was all said and done, the Blueshirts winning streak ended at 7 games. Their 8 game winning streak at MSG also came to a close.

“We had a lot of good games in a row – you lose one, not going to dwell on it,” Trouba said afterwards. “We’re in a heavy stretch of hockey until Christmas. You’ve got to move on quick and worry about the next game.”

New York will be back at in Buffalo against the Sabres on Friday night.

“We’ve been on a good run,” head coach Gerard Gallant said. “We’ll bury it and go on to the next one. I’m not worried about it one bit. I’m not happy about losing, but we move on to Buffalo.”

new york rangers
Dec 8, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) fights Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92) during the second period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Notable Rangers

  • Adam Huska stopped 32 of 39 shots in his NHL debut
  • Artemi Panarin extended his point streak to 3 games (3G – 5A)
  • Jacob Trouba has 5 goals in 8 games (and 5 points in his last 3 games)

Tomorrow (Thursday, December 9): Travel Day

Next Game: Friday, December 10 at Buffalo Sabres (7:00 p.m. ET – TV: MSG+)

*Schedule subject to change

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