Cleat Geeks

Avalanche Take Manhattan and Beat Rangers

Fresh off a road victory over the New Jersey Devils, the Colorado Avalanche headed to Madison Square Garden to face off against a powerful New York Rangers team who entered Thursday’s game in first place in the Metropolitan Division. The Avs were looking to avenge a 2-1 home loss to the Rangers early in November.FightAvsNYR

With the exception of a fight, the first period was very uneventful. Not only did it see no scoring and no power plays, but the first 20 minutes of play saw only seven total shots on goal; four from the Rangers and three from the Avalanche. Much like the game in New Jersey, the Avalanche opened the scoring in the second period, when Chris Wagner’s shot past Antti Raanta, who was in net for Henrik Lundqvist, gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead. Matt Duchene made it 2-0 with his team leading 14th goal of the season. The Rangers ended the second period and began the third period on the power play, but the Avalanche killed the penalty. With under a minute to go and Raanta pulled for the extra attacker, Oscar Lindberg ended Semyon Varlamov’s bid for his first shutout of the season with a goal that cut the Avs’ lead to one with 49.5 seconds left. However, the Rangers failed to get the equalizer, and the Avalanche went on to win.

The Avs have won back-to-back games for only the second time this season, since winning three straight in the beginning of the team’s 7-game road trip. Duchene’s goal in the second held up as the game winner, and has continued his recent surge since November, scoring 13 goals in 15 games. The Avs are 11-14-1 and still sit on the bottom of the Central Division, but the team is definitely making a charge in the month of December.

Avs have a home-and-home set against the Minnesota Wild beginning on Saturday.

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