The New York Rangers managed to end an avalanche of no points with back-to-back wins against Ottawa and Arizona.
They’ll look to keep the winning up with the final match up of the calendar year, heading to Denver to take on the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center (8 PM, MSG+).
This will wrap up a brief western road trip for the Rangers (25-12-1), who were victorious in the first half of the pair, a 6-3 win over the Coyotes on Thursday night. Matt Puempel registered the first hat trick of his career, all power play goals, becoming the first Ranger to notch a trio with a man advantage since Mike Gartner did in January 1994. Nick Holden had the other power play goal, giving him multiple points in back to back games.
Much like the Rangers previous opponent in Arizona, the Avalanche (12-22-1) have likewise struggled through 2016, particularly through a not so merry December, where they have gone just 3-11-0. Currently, they’ve lost their previous two, the most recent coming on Thursday, a 4-2 defeat at the hand of the Dallas Stars. Matt Duchene had a first period goal, while Mikhail Grigorenko briefly cut the lead to one in the third.
This will mark the first of two meetings between the Rangers and Avalanche this season, with the teams splitting the set last year, each winning on the other’s home ice. The Rangers took the match at Pepsi Center in a 2-1 final on November 6. Nathan MacKinnion had the goal for Colorado to give them the lead, but Derek Stepan and Oscar Lindberg’s second period goals gave the Rangers the winning margin. The second meeting will take place on February 11 at MSG.