Post-game notes & quotes courtesy of the NYR:
Rangers 5, Avalanche 1.
Team notes: – The Rangers defeated the Colorado Avalanche, 5-1, tonight at Madison Square Garden, to extend their winning streak to a season-high, four games. New York has now won 15 of their last 21 games (15-5-1) and 10 of their last 13 (10-3-0). – The Blueshirts improved to 31-23-3 overall (65 pts), including a 14-13-3 mark at home this season. The Rangers have registered at least one point in nine of their last 12 games at Madison Square Garden (8-3-1) and 11 of their last 15 at home (9-4-2). – The Rangers have now held opponents to two goals or fewer in 11 of their last 13 contests, 10 of the last 12 at home, and 34 of 57 games overall this season. The Blueshirts improved to 27-7-0 when holding opponents to two goals or less. – Tonight’s contest is the seventh time the Rangers registered five or more goals in a game this season, and New York improved to 16-0-0 when posting four or more goals. The Blueshirts have tallied 18 goals on their current four-game winning streak, including 14 different goal scorers, and have out-scored their opponents, 18-6, over the span. – The Rangers win tonight was their first against the Avalanche since Jan. 31, 2010 (3-1 win at Colorado), and their first win against the Avalanche at Madison Square Garden since Feb. 28, 2009 (6-1). – New York out-shot Colorado, 43-28, in the contest, including a 20-4 advantage in the first period and a 35-18 advantage after two periods. The Blueshirts have out-shot their opponent in 20 of the last 26 games, holding a 906-767 shot advantage over their opponents during the stretch. The Rangers have registered 40 or more shots nine times this season, and have posted 30 or more shots in 24 of the last 30 contests.
Player notes: – Ryan Callahan opened the game’s scoring with two goals in the first period, added an assist, led all skaters with six shots and seven hits, and posted a plus-three rating in 17:05 of ice time. He has recorded five points (two goals, three assists) in the last four games. – Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves to extend his winning streak to four games (4-0-0, 1.50 goals against average, .950 save percentage during the streak), and improve to 21-18-3 overall with an 11-11-3 mark at home this season. He has held opponents to two goals or less in 10 of his last 11 games (9-2-0, 1.46 goals against average, .952 save percentage, and one shutout over the span), and is 11-3-1 with a 1.85 goals against average, .940 save percentage, and one shutout in his last 15. Lundqvist is now three wins away from the 300th of his NHL career, and four wins shy of Mike Richter’s franchise record of 301 career victories. – Mats Zuccarello recorded two assists, including his 40th point of the season, five shots, and a plus-two rating in 16:24 of ice time. He has registered a point in nine of the last 13 games (five goals, six assists over the span), including points in each of the last four games (two goals, four assists). Zuccarello reached the 40-point mark for the first time in his career, and he is tied for the team lead with 41 points this season. – Brad Richards registered a goal and an assist, including his 40th point of the season, was credited with a game-high, three takeaways, and posted a plus-three rating in 18:00 of ice time. He has now tallied 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in the last 15 games, and is tied for the team lead with 41 points this season. – Derick Brassard registered two points, including a goal and an assist, to extend his point streak to four games (two goals, four assists over the span). He now ranks fourth on the team with 32 points this season. – Carl Hagelin tallied two assists and posted a plus-three rating in 13:48 of ice time. He has recorded four points (one goal, three assists) in the last four games. – Anton Stralman tallied his first goal of the season, four shots, and posted a plus-three rating in 20:48 of ice time. He has recorded three points (one goal, two assists) and a plus-11 rating in the last four games. – Dan Girardi was credited with a game-high, four blocked shots in the contest. Girardi leads the team and currently ranks 14th in the league with 110 blocked shots this season.
Alain Vigneault on tonight’s game… “We had a real strong start. Obviously we were meeting a team that was tired and we were fresh. It was their third game in four nights, but we came out the way I thought we needed to come out and that was a determining factor tonight. The other two determining factors in my opinion were at 2-1 we came right back and made it 3-1 and we killed off that full five-on-three where Hank made some unreal saves. Those were probably the three biggest points of tonight’s game.”
Henrik Lundqvist on tonight’s game… “We looked really strong on the puck, a lot of energy. I don’t think they came out very hard so we kind of took advantage of that. We set the tone. It’s so important to come out and get a good feeling. Every game you have new expectations and it has a new feel to it so to come out like that and just get going (is important). Even though we didn’t score early on we came out and created chances. When we finally got that first one I felt like we were doing so many good things, let’s keep this going. They came back in the second, but I feel like in a key moment there we killed off that five-on-three. It was a huge moment for us not letting them come back and get that second goal. The guys did a tremendous job with their sticks and reading passes and being aggressive at the right time. This was an important game for us.”
Ryan Callahan on tonight’s game… “We jumped on them first and we got that momentum and we seemed to roll with it and never really gave it back to them in that first period. And we came out of that with a 2-0 lead. In the second, I thought they had stretches where they were controlling it too but we seemed to weather the storm. They scored and we scored right back. It was a good bounce back after that goal.”
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