It was a big game for the Avs on Thursday night, and they delivered. The Avs came out with big energy against the Rangers. That energy was only enhanced when Cody McLeod dropped the gloves with Tanner Glass.
The Avs had complete control of the game early in the first. They held the Rangers in their zone and it eventually led to a rebound goal by Matt Duchene.
15:09 Matt Duchene (5) ASST: Tyson Barrie (10), Ryan O'Reilly (8)
The Rangers pushed back a bit with a few odd man rushes, but the Avs owned the first period. The second started out with more of the same from the Avs, but the Rangers took advantage of a delayed penalty and scored with a goal by Kevin Hayes.
06:42 Kevin Hayes (2) ASST: Dominic Moore (5), Matt Hunwick (6)
I thought that Hayes goal may have spelled doom for the Avs, but Matt Duchene and that top line made things happen and Alex Tanguay delivered again.
11:09 Alex Tanguay (7) ASST: Erik Johnson (8), Matt Duchene (7)
I credit the Avs with keeping a cool head and staying with their game after the first goal and after the Tanguay goal, but a turn over on a 4-on-4 led to a 2-on-1 with Stepan and Nash, and Stepan finished.
15:19 Derek Stepan (1) ASST: Rick Nash (6)
That Stepan goal seemed to push the momentum to the Rangers side. After the 4-on-4, the Rangers got a power play when Tanguay went to the box for hooking Carl Hagelin. The Rangers started playing keep away from the Avs on the power play and shortly afterwards, leading to the defenseman Dan Girardi getting open in front of the net.
17:02 Dan Girardi (1) ASST: Mats Zuccarello (5), John Moore (2)
The Rangers took their 3-2 lead to the third and kept up their momentum, out-shooting the Avs 14-6. Credit to Semyon Varlamov for doing what he did all last year. Varlamov came up big and kept the Avs alive for the kid to tie it on the power play.
07:54 PPG - Nathan MacKinnon (5) ASST: Zach Redmond (3), Tyson Barrie (11)
Varly came up real big in the last few seconds to send the Avs and Rangers to overtime. Despite a couple close chances in OT, including a post from Alex Tanguay on an incredible 1-on-2 effort, the game went to a shootout and this happened:
And finally for the win:
All in all, this was a huge game that the Avs had to have. Varly delivered and the top line delivered. I think we can look to see those line combinations staying together for awhile, with maybe Everberg sliding in there somewhere.
MHH THREE STARS
(3) Alex Tanguay- Tanguay was the spark plug the top line needed. He put up a goal in the second, a near game winner in OT, and the winner in the shootout.
(2) Matt Duchene- The points were there tonight for Dutchy. He scored a huge first goal and notched an assist on Tanguay's second period goal. He may not have scored in the shootout, but he was the offensive leader he needs to be. I think he may have also gotten the tip on MacKinnon's goal.
(1) Semyon Varlamov- He didn't need to make 40 saves, but Varly delivered. When the Rangers pushed back, he stood tall. He made the saves he needed to in the shootout and he came up HUGE at the very end of regulation.
Saturday, 5pm, MT @ New Jersey