Game Preview: Rangers at Avalanche

By David Kolb

NEW YORK RANGERS (25-12-1) @ COLORADO AVALANCHE (12-22-1)

LOOKING TO REVERSE COURSE

Tonight the Rangers faceoff against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center, as they conclude a quick two-game road trip. The Rangers have earned at least one point in five of their last six games (3-1-2) against the Av’s, dating back to Feb. 4, 2014. The Rangers have won five of their past seven games including Thursday’s 6-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes.

ROAD WARRIORS

The Rangers have found success on the road, as they lead the NHL in road wins this season with 12. New York also leads the league in road victories since the start of the 2013-14 season with 84. Currently, the club has notched wins in 11 of their last 15 road contests (11-4-0), including five of their last six road games (5-1-0).

PUEMPEL TRICK

Rangers Puempel Road Stock 123016

23-year old Blueshirt forward Matt Puempel notched a hat trick (all power-play tallies) Thursday in Arizona, and now has four goals and an assist in his past four games. All five of Puempel’s goals have come on the road this season, perhaps indicating that the former first-round pick by Ottawa might feel less pressure off-Broadway.

HOLDEN HIS OWN

Nick Holden tallied a goal and an assist, including a power-play goal Thursday against the Coyotes. Holden surprisingly leads all Rangers defensemen in goals with seven and has 20 points with a plus-16 in 38 games on Broadway. Holden enters this contest red-hot, as he has recorded four points (three goals, one assist) in the last two games, and eight points (four goals, four assists) in his last 10 contests.

HAYES HELPERS

Kevin Hayes tied his single-game career high with three assists (two on the power play) in Thursday’s Rangers win. Hayes has points in each of the past two games (four assists) and the Blueshirts have recorded an 18-1-0 record in the 19 tilts in which Hayes has scored at least a point.