Slow start trips up Rangers, fall to Colorado in shootout (COL 4 v. NYR 3 S/O)

Avs' Cody McLeod sends early message to Tanner Glass and Rangers 11.13.14 (Getty)

Avs’ Cody McLeod sends early message to Tanner Glass and Rangers 11.13.14 (Getty)

The New York Rangers continue their Jeckyll and Hyde season with a poor start against a struggling Avalanche team. After going “full tilt” against the Penguins, the Rangers took a more laid back approach against the AVS and it may have cost them a point.

AVALANCHE 4 vs. RANGERS 3 (SHOOTOUT)

COL v NYR 11.14.14 via ESPN

COL v NYR 11.13.14 via ESPN

Colorado came into the match with a chip on their shoulder, Cody Mcleod made a statement just 2:19 in. He took exception to a clean hit and went right after Tanner Glass. The message was clear to me, “you aren’t going to run over us like you did the Penguins.”

The Avs would outshoot the Rangers 12-6 in the first period. Matt Duchene, arguably the Avs best player got a step on John Moore and gave Colorado the lead. Message received.

New York came out much stronger in the 2nd period and were rewarded with 3 goals. Kevin Hayes would score on a delayed penalty, followed by a 4 on 4 goal by Derek Stepan and a Dan Girardi door step dunk. Of course, Alex Tanguay snuck one in for the Avs and the period ended 3-2 NY.

You have to ask yourself, if the Rangers started the game like they did the 2nd period would they have waltzed over the Avs? Or what if Cody McLeod didn’t drop the mitts in response to a hit early in the game? The latter is an argument for another day – but whether you want to admit it or not, it may have had an impact. Sorry I can’t find a fancy stat to prove it to you.

Jesper Fast was called on a weak penalty in the third period that saw Nathan MacKinnon tie it up. The shot actually deflected off Girardi and beat Lundqvist. NY still controlled the play in regulation and overtime, outshooting the Avs 27-17 after the poor start.

Then Alain Vigneault made the biggest head scratching move of the night. Down 2-1 in the shootout on a must score shot, he chose to let Lee Stempniak take it. Semyon Varlamov stopped it with ease and the Avs walked away with the extra point the Rangers needed.

“They are a desperate team right now. They came in hard in the first and set the tone,” Lundqvist said. “When you come up short like this, you are always disappointed.”

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Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore