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Recap: Georgiev, Avalanche best Rangers in shootout

The former Rangers understudy shines in his return to the Garden.

Colorado Avalanche v New York Rangers Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The New York Rangers were defeated 3-2 in the shootout by Alexandar Georgiev and the Colorado Avalanche. Both goalies were excellent–Georgiev saved 44 of 46 shots, while Shesterkin went 42-44, including a perfect 36-36 at even strength–but the former Rangers backup ultimately out-dueled their current superstar.

After a poor performance against Columbus, the Rangers continued to look out of sorts in the first period against Colorado, requiring Shesterkin to bail them out with some big saves against MacKinnon and Rantanen. The Avs would ultimately strike first on the powerplay, which came into tonight leading the league with a video game-esque 52.9% efficacy. Valeri Nichuskin continued his blazing start to the season by tipping a Cale Makar shot past Shesterkin to put the Avs up 1-0.

The score remained 1-0 until late in the second period, thanks in large part to highlight-reel saves by both Shesterkin and Georgiev, including this Rantanen breakaway.

After failing to convert on a powerplay of their own, the Rangers were clearly frustrated. They soon found relief when Barclay Goodrow broke through to tie the game at 1. The Rangers took advantage of a long Colorado shift, as Sammy Blais escorted a loose puck to the Avs zone and played pitch and catch with Goodrow before finding Trouba streaking on the right. In classic Rangers fashion, Trouba passed up a chance to shoot and instead set up Goodrow, who finally put the puck past a stellar Georgiev.

The Rangers began the third period on the powerplay, but Shesterkin committed a rare puckhandling blunder. While attempting to play the puck, Shesterkin was pressured by a forechecking Andrew Cogliano. The puck crossed the goal line before Shesterkin could corral it, meaning he would have been assessed for a delay of game if he played it. Instead he broke back toward the net but was beat by a quick shot from Logan O’Connor to put the Avs up 2-1. It was the first shorthanded goal the Rangers have conceded this year.

The Rangers would answer later in the period due an excellent shift by Adam Fox. The former Norris-winner made the defensive player against Nathan MacKinnon before finding the back of the net on a Jimmy Vesey pass.

After an eventful 60 minutes were not enough to decide a winner, the teams went to overtime. Both sides their had chances, and Artemi Panarin even drew a penalty with 90 seconds to go after beating MacKinnon in a footrace, but the Rangers still could not solve Georgiev.

Neither team scored until the third round of the shootout, when Rantanen, who was credited with 7 shots on goal, finally put a puck past Shesterkin. Panarin answered with a nifty move to extend the shootout. But when Evan Rodrigues scored on the next shot, Alexis Lafrenière could not answer. After making the game-winning save against his former team, Georgiev was fired-up. Even though the Rangers dropped yet another point, it was hard not to be happy for the erstwhile Rangers netminder, who looks to establish himself as a bona-fide stater this year.

The Colorado Avalanche improve to 4-2-1 on the young season, while the Rangers fall to 3-2-2. They’ll take on the Georgiev and the Avs once more this season when they travel to Colorado December 9th.

Overall, it was an uneven performance from the Rangers, but uneven is an improvement after Sunday’s showing in Columbus. The Rangers will look to rebound tomorrow night on Long Island against the Islanders (2-4-0), who did not play Tuesday night.