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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, April 3rd (All times Eastern)

New York Rangers (43-30-4) at Colorado Avalanche (48-21-6), 9 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Rangers were having some success on the ice even while new acquisition Martin St. Louis struggled to contribute offensively.

With St. Louis having finally scored his first goal with the Blueshirts, they could become even more dangerous.

St. Louis and the Rangers will try to build off their latest victory as they conclude a four-game road trip on Thursday night versus the Colorado Avalanche.

New York was looking to give a jolt to its offense when it dealt captain Ryan Callahan to the Tampa Bay Lightning before last month's trade deadline for St. Louis.

There was a lengthy adjustment period for the 38-year-old veteran, who notched just three assists in his first 14 games with New York. He was also without a point in each of his previous six contests before scoring shorthanded in Tuesday's 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

St. Louis finished off a 2-on-1 rush with Rick Nash for a third-period insurance tally, his 30th goal of the season in total. He also netted New York's seventh short-handed goal in its past 15 games.

Daniel Carcillo and Benoit Pouliot also scored for the Rangers, who have won two straight and seven of eight. Henrik Lundqvist came up with 34 saves.

"I just feel that this group here, the type of players we have, they're willing to do everything it takes to win games," said New York head coach Alain Vigneault, who returned to Vancouver for the first time since being fired by the Canucks this past offseason.

The Rangers picked up their club-record 25th road win of the season and lead the Philadelphia Flyers by three points for second place in the Metropolitan Division. The Flyers do have two games in hand and host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday.

New York, meanwhile, is likely to be without star defenseman Ryan McDonagh tonight due to a bruised left shoulder suffered versus Vancouver. McDonagh has 14 goals and 43 points in 77 games this season.

Fellow blueliner John Moore could be ready to return from a six-game absence caused by a concussion.

The Rangers snapped a three-game skid to the Avalanche with a 3-1 victory in New York on Feb. 4. They have lost six of their last seven in Colorado however.

Callahan scored twice in the win over the Rangers, while Lundqvist made 27 saves to improve to 2-3-1 lifetime versus Colorado with a 2.54 goals against average.

Gabriel Landeskog had the lone goal versus New York for Colorado, while Semyon Varlamov made 38 saves. He fell to 2-2-0 with a 3.75 GAA versus the Rangers.

Landeskog keyed an Avalanche rally on Tuesday, scoring twice in a 3-2 overtime victory against the Blue Jackets.

All three of Colorado's goals deflected off Columbus players. Landeskog recorded the tying goal with 4:57 to play in regulation, then scored with 33 ticks on the clock in overtime as his intended pass for Nathan MacKinnon hit off Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson.

Brad Malone scored Colorado's first goal of the game in the third period with his team down 2-0, sending a centering pass from behind the net that deflected in.

Varlamov made 24 saves for the Avs, who have won four in a row and were playing their first game since losing forward Matt Duchene for at least the rest of the regular season due to a knee injury.

"[Turnovers] are part of the game, but we bounced back and showed a lot of character," Avs head coach Patrick Roy said. "We were resilient. We came back in the third, working even harder."

With 102 points, Colorado is three ahead of the Chicago Blackhawks for second place in the Central Division with a game in hand. The Blackhawks also are in action on Thursday as they host the Minnesota Wild.

04/03 10:53:31 ET

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