Rangers stunned by Avalanche, 4-2, in season opener

Rangers stunned by Avalanche, 4-2, in season opener

There are 81 more of these for the Rangers, but this was an inauspicious start to their new season.

The reshaped Rangers fell on opening night, 4-2, to an Avalanche team which was by far the worst team in the NHL last season. Not how the Rangers drew it up.

Tyson Barrie jumped in on the rush to score what turned out to be the winner at 17:50 of the second period, beating Henrik Lundqvist, whose season got off to a shaky start by allowing three goals on 25 shots.

The Garden crowd seemed stunned when just past the halfway mark of the first period Mikko Rantanen buried a one-timer on the power play to put the Rangers behind by two, all wondering if their opening night had already been ruined.

Matt Nieto (No. 83) skates with the puck against Brady Skjei (No. 76).

(Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)

They’d be reinvigorated before period’s end having witnesses the Rangers’ new power play with Blueshirt debutant Kevin Shattenkirk quarterbacking the top unit. A sharp pass by Shattenkirk set Zibanejad up with an open net for the first goal at 17:28 as Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov was getting up and spinning around amid a disorienting bundle of bodies.

Zibanejad, he of the five-year, $26.75 million contract signed over the summer, doubled his account with another power-play goal with just two seconds remaining in the first.

But they could not strike on even strength, and Colorado added an empty-netter to punctuate a disappointing night for the Rangers.

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