By Allan Kreda, The Associated Press on February 5, 2024.
NEW YORK (AP) – Alexis Lafreniere scored 1:53 into overtime and the New York Rangers rallied to beat the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 on Monday night.
Artemi Panarin also scored and Jonathan Quick stopped 31 shots to help the Rangers get their second straight National Hockey League victory.
Nathan MacKinnon scored for the Avalanche, who had won three straight. Alexandar Georgiev finished with 27 saves against his former team.
In the extra period, Quick passed the puck out of the Rangers’ zone to Mika Zibanejad, who slid it to Lafreniere. The top overall pick of 2020 draft then whipped it past Georgiev for his 13th goal of the season.
The Central Division-leading Avalanche, starting a season-high six-game trip, are 11-3-1 in their last 15 games and 5-2-1 in their last eight on the road.
MacKinnon got his team-leading 32nd goal with 1:48 left in the opening period, firing the puck past Quick to give the Avalanche a 1-0 lead.
Cale Makar and Josh Manson had assists on the play, giving Colorado a league-best 155 points from its defencemen. Makar has 305 points in 283 career games, two shy of tying Tyson Barrie as highest-scoring defenceman in franchise history.
MacKinnon has points in 14 straight games and in 33 of his last 34 games overall. The 28-year-old forward is tied with Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov with an NHL-leading 85 points.
After Georgiev frustrated the Rangers for more than 50 minutes, Panarin scored his team-leading 31st at 11:17 of the third to tie it.
Both goalies were sharp throughout the tight contest.
Georgiev, who played parts of five seasons for the Rangers, made a sliding pad save on Vincent Trocheck’s one-timer at 3:40 of the third and stopped a point-blank blast from Zibanejad just over eight minutes into the period. He also stopped Adam Fox with 1 second left in regulation.
Quick denied MacKinnon midway through the third to keep it a one-goal game at the time. He also stopped Mikko Rantanen from in front with just under a minute left in regulation.
The first-place Rangers were coming off 7-2 win at Ottawa on Jan. 27 before the extended break around the All-Star game.
Rangers captain Jacob Trouba served the second game of a two-game suspension assessed for elbowing Golden Knights forward Pavel Dorofeyev on Jan. 26.
Zach Parise made his Avalanche debut. The 39-year-old forward signed with Colorado on Jan. 26 after playing the previous two seasons for the Islanders.
Avalanche: At New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night.
Rangers: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night.
AP NHL: https://www.apnews.com/hub/NHL