NEW YORK, N.Y. - Rangers captain Ryan Callahan shook off trade talk and scored two first-period goals to lead New York to its fourth straight win, 5-1 over the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.
With Callahan's future with the Rangers unsettled just before he heads to the Sochi Olympics, Callahan staked New York to a 2-0 lead with goals 3:19 apart. Defenceman Anton Stralman added his first of the season in the second period, and Derick Brassard and Brad Richards scored in the third — with an assist from Callahan — in the Rangers' 10th win in 13 games.
After Callahan was stopped with a chance at a hat trick, Brassard made it 4-1 at 1:58. Richards finished the scoring with 1:36 left.
For six months, it's a really good accomplishment. But as soon as April [11, the end of the regular season] comes around, no one thinks about the regular season anymore. For six months, it's a real battle to get into the playoffs in the NHL these days. There are a lot of good teams, and it takes consistency over a long time.
— Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on clinching a playoff berth after a win against the Islanders on Saturday