- Image 1 of 2
- Image 2 of 2
DENVER – Kevin Hayes had a goal and two assists and the New York Rangers survived a third-period rally to beat the reeling Colorado Avalanche 6-3 on Thursday night.
Rick Nash scored his NHL-leading 34th goal and Cam Talbot stopped 26 shots for New York.
The Rangers have won four of their last six to move into third place in the Metropolitan Division. They are three points behind second-place Pittsburgh and have played one less game than the Penguins.
Jarome Iginla, Gabriel Landeskog and Jan Hejda scored for Colorado, which has lost four straight.
The Avalanche, a week ago sitting just outside the last playoff spot after winning three of four, have fallen into last place in the Central Division. Colorado is 12th in the Western Conference a season after having the second-best record in the West.
The Avalanche didn't go down easy. Iginla and Jan Hejda scored 4:01 apart in the third to tie it at 3, but Carl Hagelin gave New York the lead again 1:18 after Hejda tied it. It was his 12th of the season, a shot from short range.
Nash made it 5-3 with 4:18 to go and Ryan McDonagh scored into an empty net with 1:01 remaining.
Dan Boyle opened the scoring in the first period with his eighth goal. Hayes made it 2-0 1:47 into the second with his ninth of the year — he skated through nearly all the Avs, around defenseman Tyson Barrie and beat Varlamov with a forehand close in.
Colorado cut the lead in half when Landeskog scored when a deflected shot went off his chest and past Talbot.
The Avalanche had a great chance to tie it when New York took two penalties in a span of 7 seconds. Colorado managed just two shots on the two-man advantage, and soon after Dan Girardi left the penalty box, Mats Zuccarello beat Semyon Varlamov with a wrister to make it 3-1.
Notes: Colorado finished 0 for 4 on the power play and is 0 for 31 in the last 10 games. ... Varlamov finished with 25 saves. ... Iginla's goal was the 577th of his career. He is tied with Mark Recchi for 19th on the all-time list. ... Hayes extended his points streak to four games. ... Avalanche C Marc-Andre Cliche was a healthy scratch. ... Rangers RW Jesper Fast missed his third straight game with a knee injury. ... Colorado C Ryan O'Reilly played in his 400th career game.