NEW YORK — The Avalanche and Rangers could be set for an off-Broadway meeting next June.

For now, they’ve provided audiences with theater’s most familiar storytelling trope that somehow never tires.

New York’s goliath in goal, Igor Shesterkin, was as durable as ever — despite a terrible gaffe — but his former backup played David on Tuesday night. Alexandre Georgiou saved 44 shots at Madison Square Garden, then three more in a shootout, and Evan Rodriguez’s shootout goal gave the Avalanche a 3-2 win in front of former Evan Rodriguez fans, an epic three hours later. That was when they welcomed him in the first round. Applause

Georgiou didn’t take a bow, but that too could be a premature curtain call.

“I didn’t believe they did,” he said. “Maybe I’ll check on him later.”

Colorado is certainly no underdog. The Avs (4-2-1) are the reigning Stanley Cup champions and are widely considered favorites to repeat, even if they haven’t exactly played that way in their first six games. Their performance on Tuesday lived up to high expectations, but in New York they faced a Rangers team that reached the Eastern Conference finals last season – and traditionally the most widely accepted ingredient for playoff success. A team equipped with

That would be Shesterkin, one of the most elite netminders in the business. Georgiou began his career as the backup goalie to Rangers legend Henrik Lundqvist, then as Lundqvist faded into retirement, Shesterkin came in to give Georgiou the jump.

“Obviously it was a big game for him,” Rodrigues said.

The Avalanche chose to pursue a second consecutive championship this offseason with a more unorthodox strategy, trading draft picks for the more affordable Georgiou. He is an everyday NHL starter for the first time. His fifth start brought him to his old home.

“For me it was just going as normal,” Georgiou said. “Treat it like a normal game.”

Then the hero of the evening stopped himself and laughed.

“Which one is it?” he said hurriedly.

In his first five starts, the 26-year-old has allowed 2.6 goals per game with a .921 save percentage. Colorado is 4-0-1 with him in the net. He has allowed just four goals in five-for-five.

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