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Rangers vs. Avalanche: Colorado breaks win streak as Rangers fall 7-3

A loss but a night of firsts as Huska makes his NHL debut, and Lundkvist gets his first NHL goal.

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at New York Rangers Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off of a strong win in Chicago Tuesday night, the Rangers were set to play the Colorado Avalanche for the first time since before COVID-19 shut down the season...two seasons ago. Needless to say, it was a very different matchup.

Adam Huska made his NHL debut, giving up 7 goals in a 7-3 loss to one of the top teams in the league. Hopefully, this is just a sign of rookie mistakes, and shaking off finally adjusting to the big leagues, paired with general team fatigue as they’re in the busiest part of their season.

1st Period

Mikko Rantanen (11) - Nazem Kadri (22) & Devon Toews (12) - 4:11

Rantanen opened the scoring and gave Huska his first ever NHL goal against— had to get it out of the way soon enough, and they were up one.

Jacob Trouba (1) - Artemiy Panarin (22) & Ryan Reaves (6) - 6:56

As absolutely everyone expected, Ryan Reaves spent a lot of time in the corners working the puck back in front and was an integral part of getting it to Trouba, who ultimately was able to put it in the back of the net to tie the game 1-1 early in the game.

The Rangers immediately got a power play after that goal but Colorado killed it off and actually had a few chances to score.

Nils Lundkvist (4) - Filip Chytil (3) & Jacob Trouba (8) - 18:15

Stealing some spotlight from Huska, Lundkvist got his first NHL goal here on the power play, late in the period to break the tie and put the Rangers up 2-1. Then immediately did this...

2nd Period

Nathan MacKinnon (2) - Gabe Landeskog (17) & Sam Girard (11)- 4:48

After a great first period for Huska, he gave up a simple goal from MacKinnon to tie the game up. A five-hole tap in, that can only be attributed to it being his first game and just losing out to one of the best goal scorers in the league.

Nazem Kadri (11) - Cale Makar (12) & Valeri Nichushkin (6)- 6:11

It was clear, the momentum was no longer in the Rangers favor as Kadri tacked on another goal to take the lead and then was able to draw a penalty.

Alex Newhook (6) - Sam Girard (12) & Devon Toews (13)- 10:42

On the power play, Newhook scores with a one-timer after dominating pace of play for the entire first half of the period.

Soon after this goal, Trouba and MacKinnon collided, knocking the Avalanche player to the ice and then left for the locker room. Captain Gabe Landeskog retaliated by dropping the gloves, earning Trouba his second night in a row to record a Gordie Howe hat trick.

Logan O’Connor (4) - Nazem Kadri (23) & Kurtis MacDermid (1)- 17:14

O’Connor really put the nail in the coffin with back to back goals in 22 seconds. His first one came here.

Logan O’Connor (5) - 17:36

His second goal of that sequence made the score 6-2 as time winded down on the second period.

3rd Period

Early on, Colorado went on the power play as things seemed to calm down a bit but it was noticeable that the Rangers were not picking up the pace. The Avalanche then drew another penalty and had a two man advantage for a bit.

A shot off the post led to a long breakaway by Chytil which he wasn’t able to capitalize on.

Filip Chytil (3) - Alexis Lafreniere (2) & K’andre Miller (2) - 11:52

Finally, Chytil was able to score after many attempts tonight, and quite the drought over the last handful of games. He was able to cut the lead down to 6-3.

After this, Johansson came in for Kuemper who left the game with an equipment issue.

Mikko Rantanen (12) - Erik Johnson (7) & Nicolas Aube-Kubel (4) - 13:25

Almost immediately after Chytil’s goal, the Avalanche were able to give it right back with this goal and make it 7-3. Kuemper returned to the game after this goal as well, but this is how the game would end.

The Rangers are in one of their toughest parts of the season, and had to face one of the best teams in the league with a new goaltender on the second night of a back-to-back. They were fatigued, and honestly just out of fresh legs to put on the ice. All things considered, I don’t see this as that bad.

They get a day off tomorrow, but will head to Buffalo to take on the Sabres on Friday.