NEW YORK – The Avalanche was part of hockey history Saturday – but not the way it wanted to be.

Trailing Colorado 2-1 after two periods, the New York Rangers stormed back to beat the Avalanche 4-2 and enable Henrik Lundqvist to become the 12th NHL goalie to reach 400 career wins – and to do it faster than anyone else.

The Rangers’ veteran Swede had 32 saves, and win No. 400 came in his 727th NHL appearance. It took the next-fastest, Martin Brodeur, 735 appearances to get 400, and the Rangers’ fans chanted Lundqvist’s first name as the clock wound down.

“I’m going to tell you that the last couple of minutes you hear the crowd, you get goosebumps, and it was just like my first game here when they chanted my name,” Lundqvist said. “That was 12 years ago.”

The Avalanche built the lead on goals from Lundqvist’s fellow Swede, Gabe Landeskog, and ex-Ranger John Mitchell, but New York got third-period scores from Kevin Klein (his second of the game) at 2:50, Rick Nash at 5:36 to pull in front and an empty-netter at 18:22 from Kevin Hayes. The Avalanche had 17 shots on Lundqvist in the third period, but couldn’t get the tying goal after falling down 3-2.

“In the third, I just didn’t think we were sharp, I didn’t think that we were hungry and there wasn’t enough intensity and urgency,” said Avalanche coach Jared Bednar.

He took a timeout just past midway through the third period and was animated.

“Listen, I know our record overall is not good,” Bednar said. “It’s horrible. But at the end of the day, you look at the way we just played over our three-game homestand and we were a dangerous team. We can be loose, we have nothing to lose, we can be confident from what we just did recently.

“I just wanted us to lay it on the line … at the end of the game and just make a push. Instead of rolling over, I wanted to make sure that we were digging in. I would have liked to see it for a full 60 minutes, but at that point there were only eight minutes left. I thought that’s exactly what we did.”

It wasn’t enough.

Landeskog has played with Lundqvist in international competition, including the Olympics.

“Four hundred wins, that’s a lot of wins,” the Avalanche captain said. “I think everybody understands why he’s one of the Vezina trophy candidates every year. He just keeps producing, just keeps helping his team win hockey games. That’s the bottom line. That’s impressive.”

Pickard, who had 26 saves, wasn’t happy with himself for allowing Klein’s first-period goal on a long shot.

“It kind of put the team behind the 8-ball,” he said. Yet from there, he said, “We had a great second period and were in the driver’s seat going into the third. They came out with a push and got a couple of goals. Losing is not what you want to do. We hung in there with a good team in a tough building, but the next step is stepping on the other team’s throats when we have ’em down. We have to finish those games off.”

Mitchell’s goal was his second of the season and came on a shot from near the boards and the hashmarks, so that’s something Lundqvist normally would stop.

“We had a good second period,” Mitchell said. “Chalk up that. We weren’t ready to play in the first, but we were able to salvage that and come out of that period tied (1-1) and had a great second period and then we (threw) it away in the third, basically. They came out fired up and we know they’re going to come out hard. They’re down. They’re going to press, we just weren’t ready, we didn’t have urgency and we were on our heels. We made a little bit of push (later) in the third period, but we can’t do that to ourselves.”

The loss came in the opener of a five-game Avalanche trip that continues Sunday night in Brooklyn against the New York Islanders. It also salvaged a split for New York in the back-to-back Madison Square Garden matchups of James Dolan-owned teams and Stan Kroenke-owned teams, since the Rangers’ win over the Avalanche came the night after the Nuggets’ rout of the toxic Knicks.

BOXSCORE: Rangers 4, Avalanche 2

Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.