Rangers Vs. Avalanche
The Rangers welcomed ex backup goaltender Alexandar Georgiev back to Madison Square
Garden last night for their match up against the defending Stanley Cup champions the Colorado
Avalanche. The Rangers looked alive throughout this game but unfortunately due to a miss
handled puck by Igor Shesterkin, the Colorado Avalanche were able to sneak out of MSG with a
shootout win. I gotta say in Georgiev’s return to the garden he played lights out. I’m a little
frustrated by the result but I gotta say the boys played a lot better than they have over the past 2
games so let’s dive into the game.
The Avalanche came out quick, completely dominating puck possession & were skating laps
around the Rangers. Midway through the first Kappo Kakko was called for hooking on Mikko
Rantanen which led to Colorado breaking the ice first thanks to Valeri Nichushkin who netted
the power play goal for Colorado with 9:40 left in the first. Five minutes later the zebras made a
horrible call on Alexis Lafreniere. Laf was called for high sticking on Cale Makar, where after
replay it actually was his own teammate Devon Toews who clipped Makar with his stick.
Initially I thought “oh they are going to let Laf out of the box right?” Wrong. Since high sticking
can be a double minor, if blood is drawn, it can only be reviewed if it was a double minor. Since
no blood was drawn the officials can’t technically review it, and were unable to allow Lafreniere
to exit the box without serving the penalty. A horrible rule but whatever. Thankfully the Rangers
were able to hold off the Avalanche power play this time and go into the locker room down 1-0.
The Rangers stepped it up in the second, coming out fast as if both teams’ energies just flipped.
The second period went back and forth with both goalies having to make some impressive stops
to keep this game close. With just 2 minutes left in the second the Rangers break out on a 3 on 2
entering the offensive zone where Sammy Blais passed the puck to Jacob Trouba down on the
doorstep and Jacob immediately dished it across the crease to Barclay Goodrow for the tap in to
tie the game at 1 a piece. A minute later Colorado’s Josh Manson was handed a 2 minute minor
for holding on Artemi Panarin, to give the Rangers a man up advantage coming out of the
Things were going right for the Rangers at the end of the second, but sadly did not translate into
the beginning of the third. The Rangers were on the power play working the puck around the
offensive zone when Colorado’s Artturi Lehkonen cleared the puck. Igor Shesterkin came out of
the crease to play it but was quickly pressured by Andrew Cogliano. The puck trickled into the
trapezoid where Igor was unable to play it and quickly retreated to the crease. Cogliano was able
to dish the puck over to Logan O’Connor who fired it past Igor to pick up a short handed goal &
give the Avalanche a 2-1 lead, less than a minute into the third. The rare mistake from Igor
quickly drained the life out of the Garden, but the Rangers kept up the fight. Alexandar Georgiev
& Igor Shesterkin were going back and forth in the saves department but the Avalanche’s net
minder would later break late in the third. The Avalanche were working the puck around the
Rangers zone when Adam Fox hit Nathan MacKinnon in open ice, stealing the puck in the
process. Fox then led the charge on the Rangers fast break. Fox set up and finished a beautiful
tic-tac-toe play where Fox rushed into the offensive zone and dropped the puck off to Goodrow.
Goodrow found Jimmy Vesey in the slot who then dished it out to Fox where he tucks the puck
past the left pad of Georgiev to tie it up at 2-2 for the Rangers. The Rangers continued to apply
the pressure for the last 6 minutes of regulation, but it wasn’t enough and for the second time in
the last 5 days the Rangers were heading to overtime.
The Rangers dominated the puck in OT but weren’t able to produce that many shots. 2 and a half
minutes into OT Panarin was able to slip past the defense and break out with MacKinnon trailing
right behind. Panarin was able to get a shot off on the breakaway and missed wide, but didn’t
come out of the shooting attempt empty handed. Nathan MacKinnon was called for hooking
giving the Rangers a 4-3 man advantage in OT, but like the majority of the game Georgiev stood
tall keeping the score tied and forcing a shootout. Where the Avalanche were able to score twice
in the shootout and the Rangers were only able to score once.
The Rangers honestly played pretty well, if Igor doesn’t make that mistake outside of the
trapezoid the Rangers win that game 2-1. Plain and simple. I really hope they can keep up this
fast pace play that we all witnessed tonight, but who knows. The Rangers take on the Islanders
on Wednesday. I pray we can snap this 3 game losing streak, especially against a hometown