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Avalanche and Alexandar Georgiev stop Rangers in shootout

It was a goalie showdown from start to finish, and the Avalanche won.

In a game that saw a total of 90 shots on goal, Colorado forward Evan Rodrigues scored the shootout winner to hand the Rangers a 3-2 loss Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden. Artemi Panarin was the only Ranger to score in the shootout.

It was Rangers’ third consecutive loss, having only happened twice last season.

All eyes at the Garden were on former Rangers backup keeper Alexandar Georgiev, who took his place between the posts – as the No. 1 keeper he always thought he was – on the other side of the ice of the goalkeeper he once played behind. In his first game in New York since the Rangers traded him to Colorado this summer, Georgiev made 44 saves.

There was more at stake than just a regular season win in this one. Surely Georgiev wanted to prove he could be the starting keeper he was never allowed to be with Rangers. The game ended up being close overall, with both goaltenders allowing just one goal in two periods.

Alexander Georgiev saves Alexis Lafrenière’s shot in the shootout to secure the Avalanche’s 2-1 win over the Rangers.
robert sabo

On the power play for the Rangers, however, Shesterkin’s rare puck mishandling resulted in a shorthanded goal for the Avalanche. Colorado forward Andrew Cogliano was aggressive on the forecheck and stole the puck from Shesterkin, who couldn’t get in front of the net before Logan O’Connor scored 59 seconds into the final quarter.

But a stellar play from defender Adam Fox, who had been quiet in recent games, allowed Rangers to level the score and send the game into extra time. After Fox forced a turnover that caused an odd-man rush for Rangers, Jimmy Vesey fed Fox for the equalizer with just under six minutes left in regulation time.

When Kaapo Kakko was called for hanging at 10:25 of the first period, the Avalanche’s power play cleared the way for a 1-0 lead. Cale Makar’s shot was deflected by Valeri Nichushkin at 11:40 for Colorado’s 10th power-play goal in 18 chances this season.

Igor Shesterkin saves Mikko Rantanen's shot in the second half of Rangers' loss.
Igor Shesterkin saves Mikko Rantanen’s shot in the second half of Rangers’ loss.
robert sabo

On the other hand, the Rangers power play was 0-4 on the night. Despite their consistent ability to hold the zone and create chances, they’ve only scored one power-play goal in the past three games, which have come on a five-on-three streak. The lack of power-play goals in this game, however, was a testament to Georgiev.

No goalie in the league is better prepared for that Mika Zibanejad slap shot from the face-off circle than Georgiev, who has seen it up close and personal for years. Georgiev made sure to be in the other position before the pass to Zibanejad even became an idea. There were simply no holes for the Rangers.

Rangers finally figured out Georgiev later in the second half, when a tic-tac-toe passing streak from Sammy Blais, Jacob Trouba and Barclay Goodrow ended with Goodrow scoring the equaliser.

New York Post

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