Avalanche 3, Rangers 1

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 17, 2012
Colorado rookie Gabriel Landeskog broke a second-period tie, and Semyon Varlamov made 41 saves to lift the Avalanche over the sliding New York Rangers 3-1 on Saturday night. Landeskog gave the Avalanche the lead, and Varlamov made it stand up as playoff-hopeful Colorado finished a 2-0-1 Eastern road trip. The Rangers' once seemingly comfortable lead in the Eastern Conference is nearly gone with 11 games remaining. New York lost its second straight, and fifth in seven games, as surging Pittsburgh closes in. The Penguins, who beat New Jersey earlier Saturday to close within two points, can get even with the Rangers with a win Sunday in Philadelphia. Colorado moved past idle Phoenix into seventh place in the West, but the Avalanche have played two more games than the Coyotes. Defenseman Matt Hunwick got the Avalanche even in the first period after Mats Zuccarello gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead. Henrik Lundqvist returned from a two-game absence caused by the flu and made 18 saves in the loss. Paul Stastny added an empty-net, power-play goal with 13.1 seconds left to make it 3-1. New York also got back captain Ryan Callahan (bruised foot) and defenseman Michael Del Zotto (hip), but it wasn't enough. The Rangers have lost two straight at home, after winning six in a row there, and have three games remaining on a seven-game road trip. They had their chances against Varlamov, but only got one puck past him. Brandon Dubinsky ripped a drive at him seven minutes into the third, but Varlamov went down in a split and made a lunging grab of the puck with his glove. Later in the period, the Rangers had golden opportunities during a power play. Zuccarello hit the post with a drive, then got stuffed in front before Brad Richards was also denied from in-close. Another advantage in the final five minutes also proved fruitless as New York went 0 for 5 on the power play. Despite dominating on the shot board with a 26-13 edge through 40 minutes, the Rangers trailed 2-1 going into the third. Landeskog gave the Avalanche a 2-1 lead with his 21st goal of the season - tops among NHL rookies - at 9:51 of the second. Defenseman Ryan Wilson stepped into a shot, just above the left circle, that appeared to quickly tip off the stick of Rangers forward Ruslan Fedotenko and flutter toward the front of the net. Landeskog got his stick on it just in front of Lundqvist, and knocked it between the goalie's pads. The Avalanche had control of the puck more in the second period than the first and deftly created several turnovers by the Rangers that either thwarted New York chances or set up opportunities for Colorado. New York surely was frustrated to be in a 1-1 tie through the first period, despite having a 16-6 edge in shots. Zuccarello, in his fourth game back with the Rangers since being recalled from the AHL last week, netted his first of the season 10:43 into the game. The 5-foot-7 winger worked his way to the front of the net, got his stick on Dan Girardi's shot from the right wing boards, and steered it between Varlamov's pads - even with Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson leaning on his back. It was Zuccarello's first goal since March 6, 2011 - a span of 16 NHL games - and the seventh of his career. The goal also was the first in three games scored by someone other than the potent line combination of Marian Gaborik, Richards, and Carl Hagelin, who had netted the past seven. Notes: The Rangers were without C Artem Anisimov (shoulder) and D Steve Eminger. Defensemen Jeff Woywitka and Anton Stralman, along with hulking forward John Scott were also scratched. D Tim Erixon was recalled from Connecticut of the AHL on Saturday and was in the lineup. ... Colorado is 10-2 against the Rangers in the last 12 meetings. ... The Avalanche killed all five Rangers power plays, and the unit has allowed only one man-advantage goal in the past nine games (20 of 21).
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jim Ross’ wife Jan dies from injuries due to Vespa crash

Report: Larry Brown to meet with LIU Brooklyn about coaching job

Report: Jay Cutler garnering 'zero' interest around NFL

Paul Millsap to opt out of contract, become free agent

Martellus Bennett calls out NFL to do more to build up communities

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NBA disciplines Raptors’ Serge Ibaka, Bulls’ Robin Lopez for fighting

Jason Day tearfully withdraws from PGA event to be with ailing mother

Matt Barnes on Derek Fisher chants: ‘I’m sick of that s—’

Brent Musburger admits he once bet on a game he broadcasted

Jeff Hornacek: Knicks will run triangle ‘exclusively’ next season

Reese Witherspoon to speak to women’s gathering at NFL owners meetings

The 'Duke schadenfreude season came early this year' quiz

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Box Score 3/22: Team USA is heading to the championship

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

The 'With teammates like this, who needs rivals?' quiz

Re-ranking the Sweet 16 for the NCAA Tournament

Box Score 3/21: WBC semis are bat-flipping fun

What you need to know for the World Baseball Classic semis

NBA Western Conference bottom feeders to watch down the stretch

MLB players most likely to break out in 2017

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

The 'With teammates like this, who needs rivals?' quiz

Re-ranking the Sweet 16 for the NCAA Tournament

What you need to know for the World Baseball Classic semis

Eastern Conference bottom feeders to watch down the stretch

Eat, Drink, Watch: A weekend of March Madness and more

The 'Who will ruin your glorious bracket this year?' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker