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Kreider's Hat Trick Closes 2016 in Style for Rangers

Blueshirts top Avalanche 6-2; Lundqvist passes Hasek in wins

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia /

Chris Kreider's hat trick helped close out 2016 in style as the Rangers topped the Avalanche, 6-2, in Colorado Saturday night.

It was Kreider's second career hat trick and marked the first time the Rangers had hat tricks in consecutive games since December 2014.

J.T. Miller scored twice - including the game-winning goal in the second period -while Henrik Lundqvist turned aside 25 shots in the victory to pass Dominik Hasek for the most wins by a European-born goaltender in NHL history.

After falling behind 1:59 into the contest, Kreider's first goal came off a redirection on a pass from Derek Stepan that tied the game, 1-1.

Kreider's second tally of the night came on the power play at 16:39 of the first period to give the Rangers their first lead of the night.

With the teams tied again midway through the second, Miller scored is first goal of the night when he fired a slap shot top shelf that beat Calvin Pickard to put the Rangers ahead for good.

Kreider would complete the hat trick with 5:40 remaining the second period with the Rangers on the power play. Kreider again got a piece of a shot from Stepan that found its way into the net for his team-leading 15th goal of the season. He has 11 goals and five assists in his last 15 games.
Miller potted his second of the night with 10:26 left in the game when he buried a feed from Oscar Lindberg in the slot. It was his third goal in two games.

Jimmy Vesey finished the night off with his 11th of the season with 13:05 left.

Like Thursday in Arizona, the Rangers' power play capitalized on its chances, going 2-for-5 after scoring four in seven opportunities against the Coyotes.

The Stepan line continued to be the team's most dangerous unit, combining for seven points, with each player posting at least two points. The trio have registered 22 points over the last four games.

The Rangers return home and open 2017 Tuesday night against the Buffalo Sabres.

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