- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 4, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) - Ryan Callahan heard the Madison Square Garden crowd roar loudly each time he scored for the New York Rangers against Colorado.

Those cheers seemed more special this time because the captain’s run on Broadway could soon be over. The adoration surely sounded much nicer to Callahan than all the recent trade talk.

Callahan shook that off and scored two first-period goals to lead New York to its fourth straight win, 5-1 over the Avalanche on Tuesday night.

Callahan is eligible for free agency after the season, and if he doesn’t reach a new contract agreement with the Rangers before two upcoming trade deadlines, he could be sent packing.

“I try not to bring that business to the rink,” Callahan said. “I try to concentrate on the Rangers and what we’re doing here. That’s my main focus.

“That is where I want to be, on the ice playing for the Rangers.”

Callahan staked New York to a 2-0 lead with goals 3:19 apart. Defenseman Anton Stralman added his first of the season in the second period, and Derick Brassard and Brad Richards scored in the third - with an assist from Callahan - in the Rangers‘ 10th win in 13 games.

After Callahan was stopped with a chance at a hat trick, Brassard made it 4-1 at 1:58. Richards finished the scoring with 1:36 left. Henrik Lundqvist made 27 saves for his 297th win, four shy of Mike Richter’s club record.

The Rangers looked well rested after a three-day break and took advantage of the Avalanche, who played for the third time in four days - including an overtime win at New Jersey on Monday.

“I don’t think they came out very hard,” Lundqvist said. “We set the tone.”

Gabriel Landeskog, Lundqvist’s teammate with Sweden in the Olympics, scored in the second, and Russian Olympian Semyon Varlamov stopped 38 shots, but the Avalanche had a four-game winning streak snapped.

The shots were 16-2 in New York’s favor at one point, but the game was still scoreless. Callahan took care of that.

“Even though we didn’t score early, we came out and created chances,” Lundqvist said. “When we finally got that first one, I felt like we were doing so many good things.”

Carl Hagelin chipped the puck away from defenseman Jan Hejda in the Rangers zone and raced up left wing. Hagelin sent a crisp pass across to Callahan, who took it at the bottom of the right circle, shifted to his backhand and scored with 5:44 left in the first.

The Rangers continued their barrage before Callahan connected again.

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