Riding their rookie start to the season, the Rangers soon discovered where they were staying with one of the NHL’s most complete teams.
Spoiler: The blouses were looking straight.
In game two of their streak and with a fourth-series goalkeeper making his National Hockey League debut, the Blues missed five goals in the middle frame en route to a 7-3 loss to avalanche Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.
The loss not only interrupted Rangers’ seven-game winning streak, but served as a reminder of what kind of teams await in this 82-game schedule.
Entering Wednesday’s game with the highest average goals-per-game (4.14) and tied for third (91) in the NHL, Colorado has now scored 68 goals in 13 games. In addition, the Avs has achieved five or more in four of the last six matches.
“We knew it was going to be a good test for us,” Barclay Goudreau said. “I mean, the only good thing, with so many toys coming out, we can put them in the rearview mirror pretty quickly and see them again next week.”
While the Rangers have one of the best records in the NHL at 17-5-3, the majority of their schedule has come against lower-to-mid-level teams. Aside from an overtime win over the Maple Leafs in four games of the season, a tight victory over the Panthers and a competitive win over the Bruins, the Rangers have failed to stand up to the higher-level clubs they have faced.
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An avalanche joined that list on Wednesday night, coming as announced and pounding the Rangers region from a puck drop. Colorado outperformed the Rangers 19-9 in the opening 20 minutes, and 39-30 on the night, disrupting the home team through the neutral zone often and then making the discus into the Rangers area.
Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen buried the first and last goals of the match, while Logan O’Connor scored twice within 22 seconds in the second half to advance 6-2. Nazem Qadri of Colorado scored a three-point goal with two assists, and got the green light at 6:11 from the middle frame.
“It’s a talented team, and if you’re going to give them a second and a third chance and an individual impulse, they’ll benefit,” said coach Gerard Gallant, adding that he felt Rangers made more mental mistakes than anything else.
While Gallant said he didn’t want to make excuses, he said he thought the Rangers looked like a tired team.
This observation became true towards the end of the first half, with Rangers managing to take a 2-1 lead. After NHL Rangers goalkeeper Adam Huska was greeted by Ranten with a shot from the wrist that missed the rookie goalkeeper’s rail and at 4:11 from the first, Jacob Tropa scored from the top of the area – which seemed to turn out to be great for the defending player. spot. At a Rangers Power game later in the period, Nils Lundqvist scored his first goal in the National Hockey League.
Halfway through the second half, Tropa hit Nathan McKinnon, who was skating through the hole with his head down, echoing his crushing hit on Chicago’s Johar Khaira the night before that sent Khaira to the hospital. Immediately after that, Tropa dropped the gloves with Gabriel Landskog, who was sentenced to the instigator penalty for his trouble.
The odds were stacked against Rangers in this showdown, but it doesn’t make a severe lopsided loss to a top team look any better.
“We’ve been doing really well lately, we’ve been playing really good hockey and I’ve had that at times,” Gallant said. “We will bury it and move on to the next stage.”