(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Rangers take aim at a season-high fourth
straight victory on Tuesday night as they look to best the Colorado Avalanche
for the first time in four years.
The Rangers have won six of eight and nine of their last 12 games and sit in
second place in the Metropolitan Division with 63 points. That is just one
point ahead of both the Columbus Blue Jackets and Philadelphia Flyers but also
17 back of the first-place Pittsburgh Penguins.
Netminder Henrik Lundqvist has been a key part of New York's current success,
going 8-2-0 with a 1.50 goals against average and .951 ave percentage in his
last 10 games. He has yielded two goals or fewer in nine of those contests.
Lundqvist made 38 saves in a 4-1 win over the New York Islanders last Friday,
keeping his club in the game before the Rangers scored three times in the
third period. Derick Brassard and Brad Richards notched goals less than three
minutes apart in the frame, while Ryan McDonagh scored into an empty-net.
"He made some unreal saves and had total control and permitted us to bring it
(tied) to the third," said Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault of Lundqvist.
"Then we played a real solid third period."
Brian Boyle also scored for the Rangers, who were coming off back-to-back wins
over the New Jersey Devils and Islanders at Yankee Stadium.
Lundqvist is 1-3-1 with a 2.88 GAA in five previous meetings with the
Avalanche, who have won their last three meetings with the Rangers. That
includes the most recent encounter 3-1 on March 17, 2012 in New York.
The Rangers have not beaten the Avalanche since Jan. 31, 2010 in Colorado and
not in New York since a 6-1 win on Feb. 28, 2009.
The Avs have won two straight and eight of their last 10 at Madison Square
Garden and play the second contest of a four-game road trip tonight. Colorado
began its trek out east last night with a 2-1 overtime decision versus the
On the verge of being shut out, Colorado coach Patrick Roy opted to pull
goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere with 2:34 left in regulation and P.A.
Parenteau responded with a game-tying goal less than a minute later before
Ryan O'Reilly scored on the power play 28 seconds into the bonus frame.
"Our guys were playing hard. It was a tight game and sometimes you go with
your feeling when to pull the goalie and fortunately it worked for us," Avs
head coach Patrick Roy said. "I am not going to take any credit for that
though. It's the players. We didn't move the puck very well on the power play
all game, but we scored the right power-play goal."
O'Reilly netted his club-leading 21st goal of the season and Giguere made 27
saves in his first start since Jan. 6. He got his first victory since Dec. 6.
Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon both notched assists to stretch their
current point streaks. Landeskog has two goals and six helpers over a six-game
run, while MacKinnon has three goals and eight points in the past five games.
MacKinnon, the top overall pick of the 2013 draft, leads all rookies with 20
goals and 41 points.
Colorado has won four in a row and nine of its last 12 overall. The Avs sit
third in the Central Division, two points behind the second-place St. Louis
The Avs were without forwards Paul Stastny (ankle) and Alex Tanguay (sprained
knee), both scratched due to nagging injuries for a second straight game, but
are still 6-1-0 in their last seven on the road. They will visit the
Philadelphia Flyers and Islanders to close out the trip before the Olympic
Semyon Varlamov is likely to start tonight for the Avalanche and is 2-1-0
lifetime versus the Rangers with a 3.33 GAA.
The Sports Network