Not a five-minute disadvantage in the first period, not a
two-goal deficit in the third period, not a crowd giving a rare
standing ovation to the host New York Rangers.
Because once the Avalanche got things rolling, Alex Tanguay led
the way to a 3-2 overtime victory Sunday over the Rangers.
"We didn't get flustered, no matter what happened," coach Tony
Tanguay scored the tying goal in the third period and assisted
on Karlis Skrastins' winner 1:14 into overtime to stretch his NHL
season-best point streak to nine games.
Skrastins' shot struck the right post behind Mike Dunham and
then caromed off the goalie's skate and in to win it.
"It was a good pass from Tanguay. I shot it, but I didn't see
where the puck go," said Skrastins of Latvia. "It was a big goal
for me and a big game for the team."
The Avalanche won four times last season when trailing after two
periods. This was the first time they did it in four tries this
"We stuck to our game plan," captain Joe Sakic said. "It's
human nature to try to pick it up in the third down 2-0. We kept it
Tanguay tied it with 9:06 left in regulation when he picked up a
rebound of Milan Hejduk's wraparound try and banked a shot in off
Dunham's left arm.
The Avalanche trailed 2-0 until Travis Brigley scored his first
NHL goal during a third-period power play.
Colorado also won last season at Madison Square Garden in
overtime when Greg de Vries, now of the Rangers, scored to spoil
Glen Sather's first game as New York's coach.
David Aebischer stopped 22 shots and kept the Avalanche close
until Colorado could catch up.
Bobby Holik and Mark Messier scored for New York. Dunham made 35
saves in his eighth straight start, the last two coming on
back-to-back nights. He has allowed 12 goals in that stretch, going
"We should expect ourselves to win a game like this," Dunham
said. "We gave them momentum and they took it from there."
Brigley knocked in a rebound, while falling to the ice, to lift
Colorado within 2-1 at 6:14 of the third period.
The Rangers' power play clicked for the third straight game
after failing in its first 32 chances. Anson Carter was just
stepping out of the penalty box to give the Rangers the advantage
when Holik made it 1-0.
The Rangers scored their first power-play goal of the season
Thursday against Carolina and then added two more Saturday at
Montreal -- both victories.
Forsberg sat out his second game because of a slight groin pull
and is day-to-day. Kariya missed his sixth straight game due to a
sprained wrist that has him sidelined indefinitely.
Aebischer, playing his third consecutive game and sixth in
seven, made several good stops during New York's five-minute power
play, including denying Carter a few times.
"The big key was killing off the five-minute penalty,"
Aebischer said. "We played well defensively in the third period.
We almost didn't make any mistakes."
Colorado was short-handed because of Steve Konowalchuk's
checking-from-behind penalty against Alex Kovalev with 6:09 left in
the first period. Kovalev was driven into the corner boards and
Kovalev missed the rest of the period but returned in the
second. Konowalchuk was ejected.
New York made it 2-0 at 4:14 of the second period. Matthew
Barnaby took a pass from Chris Simon, made some moves in front of
Aebischer, and passed right to Messier for his fourth goal.
Messier moved within one point of Gordie Howe for second place
on the NHL career list. Messier has 1,849 on 680 goals and 1,169
Rangers D Brian Leetch made his season debut after missing
nine games because of a bruised ankle. ... Rookie forwards Dominic
Moore of the Rangers and his brother Steve of the Avalanche were on
the ice simultaneously. Dominic had three assists in NHL debut
Saturday. Steve has no points in 17 career games. ... Rangers C
Petr Nedved didn't return after straining his back in the first
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Madison Square Garden Location: New York, New York
Referees: Blaine Angus, Kerry Fraser Linesmen: Pat Dapuzzo
Attendance: 18,200 (101.1% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Bobby Holik (2)
(Power Play) Assists: Boris Mironov, Vladimir Malakhov
Mark Messier (4)
Assists: Matthew Barnaby, Chris Simon
Travis Brigley (1)
(Power Play) Assists: Martin Skoula, Andrei Nikolishin
Alex Tanguay (5)
Assists: Milan Hejduk, Joe Sakic
Karlis Skrastins (1)
Assists: Alex Tanguay, Tim Wedderburn