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Rangers host Avalanche, aim for fourth straight

by Brian Compton

AVALANCHE (36-14-5) at RANGERS (30-23-3)


Last 10: Colorado 8-2-0; New York 7-3-0

Season series: This is the first of two games between the Colorado Avalanche and New York Rangers. They will face each other again April 3 at Pepsi Center.

Big story: Colorado extended its winning streak to four games by opening a four-game road trip with a 2-1 overtime victory against the New Jersey Devils on Monday. PA Parenteau sent the game to the extra session when he scored with 1:47 left in regulation before Ryan O'Reilly converted on the power play 28 seconds into overtime.

The Rangers will be seeking their fourth straight win Tuesday after completing a two-game sweep of the New York Islanders with a 4-1 victory at Madison Square Garden on Friday.

Team Scope:

Avalanche: Colorado was merely moments away from seeing its winning streak come to an end. But with goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere pulled for an extra attacker, Parenteau managed to redirect Tyson Barrie's shot into the net late in regulation before O'Reilly made New Jersey pay dearly for a slashing penalty on Andy Greene at 19:18 of the third period.

"I'm very proud of our group. Every night, the guys are focused and playing hard," Colorado coach Patrick Roy said. "That's the reason we had a chance to come back. We gave ourselves a chance to win."

Rangers: After beating the Islanders outdoors (2-1 at Yankee Stadium last Wednesday) and indoors last week, the Rangers now get set for the first of three games before the Olympic break. New York, which has won nine of 12, is hoping to finish strong before several of its players head overseas for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

"We have to make sure that we are all focused in on the three games in four nights, the three games before the Olympic break," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault told Blueshirts United on Monday. "We have to make sure we continue to play the good hockey we have been. I am expecting our veteran guys and core guys to make sure everybody understands what we need to do here."

Who's hot: Avalanche rookie forward Nathan MacKinnon has eight points (three goals, five assists) during a five-game point streak. O'Reilly has a four-game point streak (two goals, three assists). … Rangers forwards Mats Zuccarello (two goals, two assists) and Derick Brassard (one goal, three assists) are on three-game point streaks.

Injury report: Avalanche forwards Paul Stastny (ankle) and Alex Tanguay (knee) are day-to-day. Defenseman Cory Sarich (back) is out indefinitely. … The Rangers will be without forward Derek Dorsett (leg).

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