The Colorado Avalanche came into tonight's game against the visiting New York Rangers needing a strong effort after their paltry showing in a 4-2 loss in Arizona last night. Playing with jump early, the Avalanche took advantage of the only penalty of the first period as Nathan MacKinnon scored his sixth goal of the season at the 7:13 mark to give the Avs a 1-0 lead they would take into the locker room after the first period.
A largely Ranger-dominated second period finally cost the Avalanche after a lazy Ben Street penalty put New York on the power play and a heavy bounce off the end wall and scrambling defense in front of Reto Berra allowed Derek Stepan to tie the game at 1-1.
It wouldn't take long for the Rangers to take a 2-1 lead as Oscar Lindberg scored 21 seconds later on a bad angle shot that Berra would love to have back.
Despite a furious rally that lasted almost the entire third period, the Avalanche were unable to solve the brilliance of Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers walked away with a 2-1 victory.
1. Henrik Lundqvist - 29 saves
2. Tyson Barrie - 1 assist, 4 shots on goal
3. Ryan McDonagh - 2 assists
PLAY OF THE GAME
Berra was mostly brilliant again tonight but this one lapse cost ended up being the game-winning goal for the Rangers.
Colorado had begun giving ground by this point but the weird bounce off the glass right in front of the net and a great pass by Mats Zuccarello to Stepan was all New York needed to even the game and gain the momentum that would propel them to the victory.
BY THE NUMBERS
QUOTE OF THE GAME
"I have to close the short side...he hit the top of my blocker or something. I think it would go wide if my blocker wasn't there. Like I said, right now you have to battle and work really hard for everything and they deserved to win at the end. " - Goaltender Reto Berra
Colorado's loss continues to cement their spot in last place in sports' most competitive division, the Central. They currently sit six points behind 6th place Chicago and are the only Central team with a losing record.
The Avalanche have the next three days off before beginning a grueling 14-day, 7-game road trip to the East Coast, which starts on Tuesday, November 10 at 5:30PM MST in Philadelphia.