Rangers Vs. Avalanche: Semyon Varlamov Shuts Down Rangers 3-1

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 18: Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers pokes the puck away from Daniel Winnik #34 of the Colorado Avalanche at Madison Square Garden on October 18 2010 in New York City. The Avalanche defeated the Rangers 3-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

If the amount of shots that were put on net counted as goals, the New York Rangers would won this game by a landslide. Unfortunately, the Rangers were unable to solve the spectacular play by by Semyon Varlamov. Henrik Lundqvist only faced 20 shots this evening, but it wasn't enough to keep the Rangers in this one.

However, the Rangers were able to grab the first goal of the game as Mats Zuccarello put in his first goal of the season. Dan Girardi put a shot on net from the corner which deflected off of Zuccarello's stick, and found it's way past Varlamov.

Just five minutes later, Matt Hunwick was able to tie the game up at 1-1, with an unexpected move, especially from a defensemen. Stu Bickel missed the initial hit on Hunwick, who slipped passed him, and made a beautiful backhand move, and flipped it over Henrik Lundqvist.

Follow after the jump for more.

Just 9:51 into the second period, Gabriel Landeskog put the Colorado Avalanche ahead with a deflected shot in front of Lundqvist. The shot from Ryan Wilson deflected off of Ruslan Fedotenko's stick, which led to the deflection by Landeskog, that beat Lundqvist through the five-hole.

At this point, the Rangers were just pounded shot after shot at Semyon Varlamov, but still couldn't find a way to beat him. At the end of the second period, the total shots were 26-13 in favor of the New York Rangers. In the third period, the Rangers had two glorious opportunities courtesy of Steve Downie, who took two stupid penalties.

But, as the rest of the game went, Varlamov was up to every single task the Rangers threw at him tonight. Paul Stastny finished it off with an empty net goal with just under 20 seconds remaining in the game.

Now, looking at the score, you could easily say the Rangers lost this game due to something. But, to be completely honest, the Rangers played one of their best games tonight, they just ran into a hot goaltender. The only downside with that loss, is the Penguins are now just two points behind the Rangers for first place in the Atlantic, with a game in hand as well. The Rangers next game will be another crucial Atlantic Divisional match-up against the New Jersey Devils.

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