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game recap

Chris Kreider's hat trick gets Rangers past Avalanche

New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist passes Dominik Hasek with 390th NHL win

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

DENVER -- Chris Kreider had the second hat trick of his NHL career to help the New York Rangers defeat the Colorado Avalanche 6-2 at Pepsi Center on Saturday.

Kreider had two first-period goals and completed his hat trick at 14:20 of the second with his 15th of the season and a 4-2 lead.

The Rangers (26-12-1) have won three games in a row and are 9-3-0 in their past 12.

"I look at it as another two points, a big win on the road for us," Kreider said. "Obviously offense was going, we're doing some things we talked about, so there's some building blocks in that game we can build off going forward."


WATCH: All Rangers vs. Avalanche highlights


Henrik Lundqvist made 25 saves for his 390th win to pass Dominik Hasek for the most by a European-born goalie in NHL history.

"He was such a big inspiration to me," Lundqvist said of Hasek. "Growing up, I have posters of him on the wall, watched him play on highlights. I tried the things I saw him do on the ice. Big inspiration, the way he played the game, the way he competed. So first to tie, then break his record, it means a lot to me, it really does."

Video: NYR@COL: Lundqvist denies chance from in close

The line of Kreider, Derek Stepan and Mats Zuccarello combined for three goals and four assists, with Stepan and Zuccarello each contributing two assists.

J.T. Miller scored his second of the game and 12th of the season to give New York a 5-2 lead at 9:34 of the third, and Jimmy Vesey followed with his 11th goal at 13:05.

Video: NYR@COL: Kreider records second NHL hat trick in win

The Avalanche (12-23-1) have lost 10 consecutive home games (0-9-1) since a 4-1 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Nov. 15.

"We're just doing different things every night to shoot ourselves in the foot," Colorado forward Matt Duchene said. "I'm at a loss, I don't know what more to say. We have to play a perfect game to win a hockey game right now. When we do, we win. When we don't, even if were near perfect, we still don't win."

Miller put the Rangers ahead 3-2 at 9:30 of the second period after an Avalanche turnover in the New York end.

Video: NYR@COL: Miller buries laser from the high slot

"It's on us to make sure that we're not making those types of mistakes and putting ourselves shorthanded all the time when we're in a hockey game," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said.

The Avalanche tied the game 2-2 at 18:34 of the first when Blake Comeau deflected Francois Beauchemin's shot from the blue line for his sixth goal.

Video: NYR@COL: Comeau nets a beautiful deflection

Cody McLeod scored his first to give the Avalanche a 1-0 lead at 1:59 with a deflection of defenseman Tyson Barrie's point shot.

Kreider scored twice in the first period for New York. Stepan's pass from the right corner went off Kreider in front at 6:09 to tie the game 1-1. Kreider redirected Zuccarello's shot by goalie Calvin Pickard for a power-play goal at 16:39 for a 2-1 Rangers lead.

Goal of the game

Kreider scored his third goal when he moved to the left of the crease and tipped Stepan's shot inside the near post on a power play.

Video: NYR@COL: Kreider buries power-play goal for hat trick

Save of the game

Kreider nearly had three goals in the first period. He skated in alone on Pickard and took a backhand shot which the goalie kept out with his left leg at 12:11.

Video: NYR@COL: Pickard robs Kreider with a sprawling stop

Highlight of the game

Miller broke a 2-2 tie with his first goal of the game, skating down left wing and sending a shot from the top of the circle that beat Pickard to the glove side.

Video: NYR@COL: Miller cranks a slap shot past Pickard

Unsung performance of the game

Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi prevented the Avalanche from closing to within 4-3 at 6:21 of the third period when he swept the puck off the goal line after Lundqvist deflected a shot from Duchene.


They said it

"He's a player that always goes to the front of the net, always brings the puck there. He has a great net screen, real tough forward to get out of that area, so it's nothing new. He's always been doing it and tonight he got rewarded." -- Rangers coach Alain Vigneault on forward Chris Kreider


"It seems like there isn't much going our way. It's getting pretty crazy at this point. It seems like every home game, we're getting pumped. We have to keep battling, keep competing." -- Avalanche goalie Calvin Pickard

Need to know

The Rangers have seven power-play goals in the past three games. Zuccarello has nine assists in a six-game point streak, Kreider has seven goals and two assists in the past six games and Stepan has four goals and five assists in the past six games. ... The Avalanche were 0-for-3 on power plays and are 0-for-28 in their past six home games. Barrie, who played in his 300th NHL game, has six assists in a four-game point streak.  

What's next

Rangers: Host the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, MSG)

Avalanche: At the Vancouver Canucks on Monday (10 p.m. ET; SNP, ALT2, NHL.TV)


Video: Kreider records hat trick, Lundqvist notches win 390

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