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Rangers vs Avalanche: Rangers’ Late Push Falls Short in Colorado

New York Rangers v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

The New York Rangers dropped their second straight game in regulation for the first time this season, as they were defeated 4-2 by the Colorado Avalanche. Colorado controlled a good portion of this game throughout the first 30 minutes, but the Rangers came on with a late push in the third period. New York came within inches of tying the game with under a minute remaining, by Colorado was able to weather the storm and close it out in regulation.

1st Period

Mikko Rantanen (13) - Nathan MacKinnon (19) & Andre Burakovsky (9) - 12:18

It didn’t take very long for the highly skilled Avalanche to take advantage of the Rangers’ bottom pairing, as Mikko Rantanen tapped home his 13th of the year. The entire sequence was just bad coverage by New York with Alexis Lafreniere following behind the net, while Patrik Nemeth and Libor Hajek completely abandoned the front of the net. Alexandar Georgiev didn’t stand much of a chance on the pass, and Rantanen was able to flip the puck over his right pad to make it a 1-0 game.

Cale Makar (13) - Nathan MacKinnon (20) & Nazem Kadri (24) PPG - 18:11

With under two minutes remaining in the opening frame, the Rangers couldn’t stay out of the penalty box and sent Colorado to another man-advantage. The Rangers learned pretty quickly that the Avs are the last team you want to give these opportunities to, and they doubled up their lead at the 18:11 mark. Following some quick puck movement, Cale Makar’s wrist shot found its way through traffic and completely eluded Alexandar Georgiev. Makar’s 13th of the season gave Colorado a commanding 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission.

2nd Period

Ryan Strome (6) - Adam Fox (25) & Artemiy Panarin (24) - 10:36

The Rangers finally got on the board midway through the second period courtesy of Ryan Strome. Adam Fox setup the entire play by walking the blue line, and finding open space in the middle of the ice. Fox was able to get off a crisp pass as he stepped into open space, and put the puck right on the tape of Ryan Strome cutting to the net. Strome’s initial deflection wound up hitting off of his own glove before flipping over Darcy Kuemper and bringing the Rangers back within a goal.

Valeri Nichushkin (8) - J.T. Compher (5) & Nazem Kadri (25) - 18:45

Despite the Rangers jumping right back into the game, the Avalanche didn’t let it affect them and went right back to work in the offensive zone. After some quick puck movement, Colorado was able to move the puck back up in the high slot to Nazem Kadri, who tossed a shot towards the goal. J.T. Compher was able to deflect the puck on net, which generated a rebound right at the top of the crease. Alexandar Georgiev was unable to stretch back as Valeri Nichushkin slammed home the rebound to restore Colorado’s two-goal lead.

3rd Period

Julien Gauthier (2) - Dryden Hunt (4) & Barclay Goodrow (7) - 17:58

Late in the third period, the Rangers were able to claw their way back after winning a key faceoff in the offensive zone. Dryden Hunt was able to collect the loose puck with a pileup in the circle, and he heavy shot gave Darcy Kuemper some trouble. The rebound dropped right outside of the crease where Julien Gauthier beat everyone to the loose puck, and flipped the puck under the crossbar. It was a crucial goal for the Rangers as it brought them back within a goal with 2:02 remaining in regulation.

Valeri Nichushkin (9) - Unassisted - 19:23

The Rangers actually came extremely close to tying this game, but Chris Kreider was denied with a great pad save by Darcy Kuemper. Following a failed dump in attempt by Adam Fox, the faceoff came back out to center ice with one final push for the Rangers. However, Valeri Nichushkin outworked three different Rangers after the puck dropped, and created a breakaway for himself with 37 seconds remaining. He was able to make a slick move to his forehand, and snapped the puck past Georgiev for his second goal of the evening.

Overall, the Rangers didn’t have a particularly great game as Colorado controlled a good portion of this game throughout 40 minutes. The Rangers did make a late push, but unfortunately, it came a little too late and they simply ran out of time. This is the first time the Rangers dropped two consecutive games in regulation this season, as they sit at 18-7-3. Following tonight’s rough loss, the Rangers will be right back in action tomorrow night as they meetup with the Arizona Coyotes out West starting at 9pm.