March 23, 2023
Georgiev makes 44 saves, Avalanche defeats Rangers in shootout

Georgiev makes 44 saves, Avalanche defeats Rangers in shootout

NEW YORK — Alexander Georgiev made 44 saves on his return to Madison Square Garden to help the Colorado Avalanche defeat the New York Rangers 3-2 in a shootout on Tuesday.

Georgiev, who played for Rangers from 2017-22 before being traded to the Avalanche on July 7, quit Kaapo Kako, Mika Zibanejad and Alexis Lafreniere in the shootout. He’s 4-0-1 this season with 2.56 goals against average and 0.921 percent saved.

“Very special,” said Georgiev. “It doesn’t get much better than that kind of shootout win, and the building…the building is amazing. It brought back a lot of good memories. But for me it was just playing the game and letting it come to me.”

Valery Nikhushkin and Logan O’Connor scored for Colorado (4-2-1). Mikko Rantanen and Evan Rodrigues hit on penalties.

“I feel like I knew ‘Georgie’ was going to have a game tonight,” defended Avalanche Kal Makar said. “Only obvious [playing against his] old team they traded it in here so i don’t know if there are any awkward feelings and things like that. But we know him, he’s a good goalkeeper, but I feel like he was on a completely different planet tonight. So whatever he did to channel that tonight, hopefully he can continue to do that for us.”

Video: [email protected]: Rodrigues, victory in Georgiev’s power shootout

Barclay Goodrow had a goal and an assist, and Adam Fox scored for New York (3-2-2), who have lost three times in a row (0-1-2). Igor Shesterkin made 42 saves, and Artemi Panarin hit on penalties.

“Obviously you want to get that (extra) point, but we definitely played a lot better tonight than we have in the last few games (3-2 overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday; 5-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday), so maybe see it as a starting point for something that catapults us through tomorrow (with the New York Islanders) and the next little stretch here,” Goodrow said.

Fox equalized it 2-2 at 5:57 in the third period after causing a turnover in the defensive zone. He knocked Nathan MacKinnon from the puck before converting to a passing game with Goodrow and Jimmy Vesey.

“He’s a talented player,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said of Fox. “He’s on the ice. He and Makar looked pretty good going back and forth with two really good players.”

O’Connor’s first win of the season gave the Avalanche a 2-1 lead 59 seconds into Season 3 when, while shorthanded, he found a goal from Georgiev who misplayed the puck in the corner. Andrew Cogliano got the puck and fed O’Connor up front.

“They definitely want to help the team win and get the two points, but obviously it was just a bad penalty shootout and the second goal was completely at my expense,” said Shesterkin.

Nichushkin made it 1-0 with a power play goal at 11:40 of the first period, tapping a shot from Makar. The goal extended Nichushkin’s season-opening scoring streak to seven games (seven goals, five assists).

Video: [email protected]: Nichushkin tips home shot on power play

Goodrow leveled it 1-1 at 18:06, scoring a pass from the side of the net Jacob oven.

“A give-and-go and Blais made a great pass straight to ‘Troubs’ and Troubs made a great pass straight to me,” Goodrow said.

The Avalanche went 4-for-4 on penalties, including the final 1:39 of overtime after MacKinnon was called upon to hook Panarin, who had a breakaway and was stopped by Georgiev.

“I really liked our penalty tonight which is nice to see our lads being rewarded,” said Avalanche coach Jared Bednar. “…They created a couple of chances and when we needed a save, Georgie was there. But overall a good night after our penalty shootout and they scored a big shorthanded goal for us which was huge.”

Georgiev made 19 saves in the third period and overtime.

“A lot of great memories (in New York),” Georgiev said. “Lots of great players and staff. I tried to think of positive things and there were a lot of them. …I would say quite a memorable one [win]. I’ll try to enjoy this one tonight, but then recharge. We still have a lot of other really important games ahead of us.”

REMARKS: avalanche defender Devon Toews returned after missing two games with an undisclosed injury. He had six shots on goal in the 26:26 Ice Age. … Colorado has beaten New York four times in a row and five of the last six. … Rangers won 56 percent of the faceoffs, led by the center Vincent Trocheckwho won 15 out of 19. … The Avalanche, who lead the NHL on power play (50.0 percent), have scored at least one with man advantage in six of their seven games.

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