DENVER -- Mikko Rantanen scored two power-play goals and had an assist, and the Colorado Avalanche ended a six-game losing streak with a 6-1 win against the New York Rangers at Pepsi Center on Friday.
"We were saying after the last game that we have to approach this game like a [Stanley Cup Playoff] game," Rantanen said. "We had to end it right now. We still have half a year left and we're still sitting in a playoff spot, so it's in our own hands."
Tyson Barrie had three assists and has 278 points in the NHL, passing John-Michael Liles for most by a defenseman in Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques history.
[WATCH: All Rangers vs. Avalanche highlights]
"It's finally nice to get it out of the way and put it behind me," Barrie said. "It's something I can look back on and take pride in. Liles is a great guy and a great player, so it's nice to pass him. I'll have to take him out to dinner."
Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and two assists, Gabriel Landeskog had a goal and an assist, and Philipp Grubauer made 24 saves for Colorado (20-14-8), which was 0-4-2 in its previous six games.
"It's been losing hockey, it's been negative - negative video, a negative vibe around the rink," MacKinnon said. "It's nice to finally end it. We didn't want to go into a five-game road trip (next week) on a seven-game losing streak."
Video: NYR@COL: MacKinnon pots PPG as Barrie sets new mark
Ryan Strome scored and Alexandar Georgiev made 41 saves for New York (17-16-7), which has been outscored 13-3 in its past two games and is 2-2-2 in its past six.
The Avalanche jumped out to an early lead after Rangers forward Cody McLeod was assessed a 5-minute penalty for boarding Samuel Girard at 2:29 of the first period.
MacKinnon scored glove side from the right circle to make it 1-0 at 4:40 and Rantanen made it 2-0 at 6:53 when his pass from the right circle deflected in off the stick of Rangers defenseman Neal Pionk.
The Avalanche had 15:23 of power-play time and finished 3-for-10.
"I thought we took some stupid penalties," Rangers coach David Quinn said. "I thought there were some calls you questioned. This hasn't been an issue. I've never been part of a game where you take (10) penalties and have to kill (nearly) 20 minutes of penalties in a game. We never quit, guys are blocking shots.
"I know you're finding out about your team under these circumstances. We didn't quit, but certainly it wasn't our night from the get-go. We created a lot of our own problems with the penalties. We have to move past this in a hurry."
Landeskog extended the lead to 3-0 at 12:34 of the second period when Erik Johnson's point shot redirected in off his right skate.
Video: NYR@COL: Landeskog redirects in Johnson's shot
Alexander Kerfoot made it 4-0 at 5:18 of the third period, redirecting J.T. Compher's shot in front. Rantanen deflected in Barrie's point shot on a power play to push the lead to 5-0 at 7:53.
Strome cut it to 5-1 on a breakaway at 9:21, but Ryan Graves scored his first NHL goal at 13:28 to make it 6-1.
"It was a lucky bounce that came off a stick," Graves said. "It just popped out in front of me and I had an open cage. Even before I hit it, I was a little excited."
Graves was playing in his fifth NHL game after being recalled from Colorado of the American Hockey League on Dec. 26. He was acquired by the Avalanche in a trade with the Rangers on Feb. 26, 2018.
"It was fun, it was special for me," Graves said. "I played with a lot of those guys in camp for three years and in the American League, so coming against them it might be a little bit sweeter. Regardless of who we were playing, it's pretty sweet."
Video: NYR@COL: Graves cleans up in front for first NHL goal
They said it
"If we can minimize our mistakes, hopefully it's going to turn around. But I mean, you go through stretches during the season when it's like this. You try to look for answers. The answer is to play the game that you know how to play and play a simple game." -- Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello
"It was huge for us because we haven't been getting rewarded for our work lately. My message to the guys before the game was, and we say it all the time, 'We'll win a game or two games and it's always turn the page, turn the page.' I thought we did a better job tonight of just kind of putting the past behind and worrying about the task at hand." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar
Video: NYR@COL: Rantanen tips Barrie's slap shot for PPG
Need to know
Rangers forward Kevin Hayes was scratched because of an upper-body injury and is day to day. … Rangers forward Jimmy Vesey returned after being a healthy scratch Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Grubauer stopped him on a penalty shot at 12:14 of the third period. … Colorado's 10 power plays were its most since it had 11 against the Philadelphia Flyers on Oct. 16, 2008.
Rangers: At the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday (4 p.m. ET; FS-A, MSG, NHL.TV)
Avalanche: At the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; TSN3, ALT, NHL.TV)
Video: Rantanen, MacKinnon, Barrie lead Avalanche to 6-1 win