After a two day layoff, the New York Rangers continued their winning ways tonight and defeated the Colorado Avalanche by a final score of 2-1. Despite a slow start, the Rangers were able to find their legs and came away with a two goal second period. Henrik Lundqvist, like always, was spectacular in between the pipes for the Rangers, and helped shutdown a late push by the Avalanche in the third period.
With the Rangers struggling to find their game in the early going, the Avalanche made the most of their opportunity and took control with an early goal. Nathan MacKinnon absolutely abused Dan Girardi coming down the wing, and after a few quick moves, he drove to the net with a wide open lane. With Girardi being left in the dust, MacKinnon fired a low wrist shot through traffic and beat Lundqvist under the arm to give the Avs the 1-0 lead.
Nearly the end of the period, the Rangers finally came into their own, and started picking up the pace in the offensive zone. That led to several high quality scoring chances, but Reto Berra was playing extremely well in the early going. The Rangers were able to carry that positive momentum over into the second period, and that's where they were able to do their damage.
A little over halfway through the period, the Rangers were able to strike twice within 21 seconds and took control of the game. The first goal came courtesy of Derek Stepan, who caught a beautiful feed from Mats Zuccarello in close, and fired the puck over Berra. Then came a goal from Oscar Lindberg, his seventh of the season, as he rifled a sneaky shot from the goal line and banked the puck in off of Berra's nameplate.
It was a huge goal that swayed the momentum in the Rangers favor once again, and they went into the intermission with a 2-1 lead. The third period, like always, went as expected with the Rangers shifting into a more conservative style as they held onto their one goal lead. Luckily, Henrik Lundqvist played out of his mind in the final 20 minutes, and helped the Rangers earn their fourth straight victory.
While it wasn't pretty at certain points, the Rangers found yet another way to collect two points, and improved to 9-2-2 on the season. The Rangers will have a quick turnaround as they will be back in action tomorrow night when they meet up with the Arizona Coyotes.