Two hours behind the New Year’s Eve festivities going on in their New York City home, the New York Rangers managed to provide something much more exciting than a mere ball drop to close out 2016.
Chris Kreider put a trio in the net, JT Miller added two more, and Henrik Lundqvist left Dominik Hasek behind, as the Rangers took a 6-2 victory from the Colorado Avalanche.
Ending a brief trip to the other side of the country in which they took on the league’s
two bottom teams in terms of points, the Rangers (26-12-1) did allow two negative trends to surface, hopefully making New Year’s resolutions to remedy it. Cody McLeod scored his first goal of the season, giving Colorado a 1-0 lead just before two minutes elapsed. Kreider then began his busy day, scoring two goals, one on the power play, to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead.
Colorado (12-23-1) did manage to tie things up before the first period horn, as Blake Comeau scored his sixth of the season, but the Rangers took over from there. JT Miller scored for the second consecutive game, going unassisted in the second period to give the Rangers the lead they take into 2017. Kreider completed his hat trick later in the period, and the Rangers had a healthy 4-2 lead. A pair in the third, scored by Miller and Jimmy Vesey wrapped things up, and the Rangers capped an up and down year on a good note.
Lundvist, who made 25 saves, earned a special piece of history, tallying the 390th victory of his career, all with the Rangers. It allowed him to pass Domink Hasek for most wins by a European-born goaltender as well as passing the Czech-born Hasek for 12th all-time in NHL history. Next on that list is Chris Osgood with 401. Lundqvist, now 16-8-1 on the year, is second among active goalies in wins, behind only Florida’s Roberto Luongo.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490