for this game

Avs get crucial road win over Rangers

Mar 18, 2012 - 5:10 AM
New York, NY (Sports Network) - Semyon Varlamov turned away 41 shots and the Colorado Avalanche picked up a big road win with a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

Coming into Saturday's action, the Avs were clinging to a one-point lead over three other teams for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Now, they sit in the seventh spot with a one-point lead over Los Angeles and San Jose, both of which won on Saturday.

Gabriel Landeskog scored the winner in the second period and Matt Hunwick lit the lamp in the first period for the Avalanche, who have won four of their past five games.

"We have no control over what the teams behind us do," said Hunwick. "We just have to take care of our business and getting five out of six points on this trip is huge."

The Rangers have seen their once comfortable lead for the top spot in the Eastern Conference and the Atlantic Division fall to just two points as the resurgent Penguins have won 11 straight games while the Rangers are just 5-5-1 during the same stretch. The Penguins also have a game in hand on New York.

Mats Zuccarello had the lone goal of the game for the Rangers, who got 17 stops from Henrik Lundqvist in the loss.

"Their goalie saved the day for them," said Lundqvist. "He played really well, they played really well as a team. We did too, but we just came up a little short."

With the game tied in the second, Landeskog gave his team the lead halfway through when Ryan Wilson blasted a shot on net from the outside of the left circle that Landeskog tipped between the legs of Lundqvist.

Varlamov made the lead stand up with a flurry of saves over the final 30 minutes, as he stopped 10 in the second and 16 in the third, helping the Avs kill off a pair of Rangers power plays in the third period.

Ryan McDonagh took a tripping call with 1:08 to play to put the Rangers a man down and Paul Stastny sealed the win with the empty-netter with 14 seconds left.

The Rangers took a 1-0 lead 10:43 into the game as a pass from the mid-right boards by Dan Girardi was tipped in by Zuccarello in front of the net.

The Avalanche, though, tied the game just over four minutes later when Hunwick got the puck in the Rangers zone and went up the middle, going outside-inside on a defender and tipping the puck past Lundqvist while off-balance for just his third goal of the year.

Game Notes

Colorado has won three straight against the Rangers...The Rangers host the Devils on Monday...Colorado returns home to face Calgary on Tuesday...The Avs went 1-for-2 on the power play while New York, which is 29th in the league on the man advantage, was 0-for-5.