Alexis Lafreniere scored 1:53 into overtime on Monday night for the host New York Rangers, who overcame a third-period deficit to edge the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 in a battle of division leaders.
The Avalanche dominated the extra session before Rangers goaltender Jonathan Quick began the sequence that led to Lafreniere’s goal.
Quick fired a clearing pass, and Mika Zibanejad caught up to the puck before eventually sending a drop pass between his legs to Lafreniere. Lafreniere shuffled the puck and shot just as New York defenseman Erik Gustafsson skated in front of Colorado goalie Alexandar Georgiev.
Artemi Panarin forced overtime by scoring in the third for the Rangers, who have won two straight to improve to 6-7-2 since Jan. 1. Quick made 32 saves, including point-blank stops of Nathan MacKinnon and Devon Toews in overtime.
MacKinnon scored late in the first for the Avalanche, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Georgiev, who played the first five seasons of his career with the Rangers, recorded 27 saves.
The Avalanche struck first late in the opening period following an end-to-end rush in which MacKinnon did most of the work.
MacKinnon took a pass from Cale Makar in the Colorado zone, raced into the neutral zone and managed to keep his balance while weaving between a pair of Rangers. With New York defenseman Braden Schneider in front of him, MacKinnon managed to get a shot around him and over Quick’s glove with 1:48 left.
The Rangers didn’t draw even until the 11:17 mark of the third.
After Zibanejad won a faceoff against MacKinnon deep in the New York zone, Panarin ended up with the puck behind the Colorado net. He eluded Makar and skated to the edge of the blue line before pivoting and firing a shot that sailed through a gaggle of players in front of Georgiev and glanced off MacKinnon.
The goalies combined for four saves in the final 61 seconds of regulation. Quick stopped a point-blank shot by Mikko Rantanen and scrambled to cover up the puck with 1:01 seconds left before Georgiev turned back three attempts in the final 39 seconds.
–Field Level Media
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