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Postgame Wrap-Up: Barrie Becomes Franchise Leader In D-Man Scoring

The blueliner records three assists against the Rangers to set Avalanche record

by Callie Parmele @CallieParmele /

Tyson Barrie is now the Colorado Avalanche franchise leader in scoring by a defenseman.

The blueliner had three assists in a 6-1 win over the New York Rangers at Pepsi Center on Friday night to bring his career total to 278 points and pass John-Michael Liles (275) for the most points by a defenseman in Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques franchise history.

"It is not something I set out to do, but it has been in striking distance the last couple of weeks," said Barrie. "I have been a bit cold so it took a little bit longer than I would have liked, but it is something I will be able to look back and take pride in. There have been some great defensemen that have come through here, Johnny Liles is one of them. He is a great guy too, so I will have to buy him dinner."

Video: NYR@COL: MacKinnon pots PPG as Barrie sets new mark

The Victoria, British Columbia, native passed Liles for the most career assists by a defenseman in franchise history on Dec. 29 against the Chicago Blackhawks, and Barrie now sits two goals shy of Liles for second place on the all-time list for goals by a rear guard in Avalanche/Nordiques history.

Though Barrie and Liles were never on the Avalanche roster at the same time, Liles last two years with Colorado were Barrie's first two with the organization. Barrie was drafted in 2009 and the two participated in two training camp's together while Barrie was playing for the Kelowna Rockets.

"Johnny was great, I remember he was one of the guys that my first couple camps, a guy that I looked up to as an offensive defenseman," said Barrie. "He was always so nice to me and I remember after one game, I think it was a Burgundy/White Game, and I was like, 'What do I do now?' And he was like, 'Don't do anything, just stay until they tell you to go kid.' I am like alright, and then the year after I made the team.

"Johnny has always been great, now he is doing a great job with Altitude TV, and I still keep in touch with him and play some golf with him, so it's been great."

Video: Tyson Barrie on setting a new franchise record

Barrie now has 278 career points (66 goals, 212 assists) in 444 contests with the Avalanche since Colorado selected him in the fourth round (64th overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft. It took Liles 523 games as an Av to reach the previous record of 275 points.

"It doesn't even feel like that long ago, [I remember] my first goal I scored against Nashville here and it really doesn't feel like that long ago," Barrie said. "To think about how quick your career can go by and how time flies is pretty amazing. I have had great memories here in Denver and I love it here, and I am honored to be able to continue to play for the Avalanche."

GRAVES SCORES FIRST NHL GOAL: In his fifth game in the NHL, Avalanche defenseman Ryan Graves netted his first NHL goal and first point in the league.

Graves was selected by the New York Rangers in the fourth round (110th overall) of the 2013 draft and began his professional career with the Rangers' organization.

Video: NYR@COL: Graves cleans up in front for first NHL goal

"It is pretty special, I was pretty excited," said Graves. "I am just happy to be here and to get my opportunity to play and that makes it even more special."

Graves tallied after he crashed to the front of the net and sent a loose puck into twine late in the third period to make it a 6-1 contest.

"I was looking forward to this game all day. I know it was the sixth goal, but it felt pretty good," he said. "I would have felt good in general, but I am happy that it happened tonight. I was pretty excited, it is awesome. It was a pretty good experience for me."

Video: Ryan Graves on scoring his first career NHL goal

ALL THE POWER PLAYS: Colorado had 10 power-play opportunities in the contest and were able to capitalize twice while on the man advantage in the first period.

It is the most extra-man chances in a game for the Avalanche since Oct. 16, 2008 against Philadelphia when the team had 11 chances.

"I thought both the players and [assistant coach Ray Bennett] did a nice job at the intermissions of kind of going over what we saw in the first few and we got another one later on," Bednar said of the power plays. "Part of it though is repetition, just simplifying it and making sure you don't get too fancy, that we stay in attack mode and keep shooting the puck and getting to the hard areas. That is how you generally score your power-play goals anyway."

The Avs were 3-for-10 with the power play, the fourth time this season that Colorado has scored three man-advantage goals in a game (last on Dec. 15 versus Dallas). The Avalanche's power play is now 42-for-157 (26.8 percent) on the season, the sixth-ranked unit in the league.

PENALTY SHOT DENIED: At the 12:14 mark of the third period, Philipp Grubauer denied New York Rangers forward Jimmy Vesey on a penalty shot to keep the Avs lead at 5-1. Grubauer is now 2-for-3 in his career on penalty shots.

"I just kept my arms out and was reading the shot and reading his blade, and it worked out," the netminder said.

Video: NYR@COL: Grubauer gloves down Vesey's penalty shot

VOTE GABE IN: Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog recorded his 25th goal and 22nd assist of the season to bring his season total to 47 points. Nathan MacKinnon also tallied his 25th marker of the campaign, and the two Avs are tied for the team lead and fourth in the league in goals.

MacKinnon tallied three points (one goal, two assists) in the outing, his eighth game with three or more points this season and 19th multi-point performance. MacKinnon moved into third place in league scoring with 63 points (25 goals, 38 assists) and also matched a season high with eight shots.

MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen will represent the Avalanche at the 2019 NHL All-Star Game, and Landeskog can join them at the mid-season classic through the "Last Men In" ballot where fans can vote for the final member of each division's team.

Video: NYR@COL: Landeskog redirects in Johnson's shot

Rantanen tallied twice against the Rangers and now has 65 points in 2018-19, ranked second in the NHL behind Tampa Bay's Nikita Kucherov. Rantanen notched three points (two goals, one assist) for his ninth game of the campaign with three or more points and 19th multi-point outing.

Rantanen's nine contests with three or more points is tied for second-most in the NHL with Calgary's Johnny Gaudreau, while MacKinnon's eight outings with three or more points is tied for fourth with Winnipeg's Mark Scheifele. Kucherov ranks first with 10 performances with three or more points.

HEADING NORTH: Next up for Colorado is a season-long, five-game road trip that begins on Tuesday at the Winnipeg Jets.

The Avs stay north of the border throughout the 10-day journey, making stops in four different provinces as they take on the Jets, Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators.

"I brought my hat and my winter jacket on the trip," Colorado goaltender Philipp Grubauer joked of going to Canada. "We are going to play a couple good teams, so we need to be sharp and we need to play the right way."

AVALANCHE NOTES: The Avalanche has now scored six or more goals in eight games this season, the third-most games with six or more markers of any team in the league (Tampa Bay, 11; Calgary, nine).

Colorado's 47 shots were a season high and the team's most since Dec. 31, 2017 versus the New York Islanders (48).

The Avalanche held the Rangers to three shots in the first period, matching a season low for shots against in a single frame (not including overtime) (also: Nov. 16 versus Washington, 3rd).

The Avalanche finished with a 47-25 (plus-22) advantage in shots, its highest shot differential since April 4, 2017 versus Chicago.

Colorado and New York combined for 49 penalty minutes, the most combined penalty minutes in a game for the Avs this season (previous: Nov. 1 at Calgary, 45). New York's 31 penalty minutes is the most by an Avalanche opponent this season (previous: Nov. 1 at Calgary, 21).

Colorado wrapped up its season series against the Rangers, finishing 1-0-1. The Avalanche is now 12-5-2 against the Eastern Conference this season, including a 6-2-1 mark at home.

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