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Mats Zuccarello Has Magic Hands. So Does Chris Kreider.

Breaking down Chris Kreider's first goal of the year.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Mats Zuccarello and Chris Kreider combined for one of those goals. You know, one of those goals that makes you look at your buddy watching the game to make sure you both saw the same thing. The goal did two things: 1) it propelled the Rangers to a big win over the Coyotes, and 2) it gave Kreider his first goal of the year.

To the clips!

The play begins with Marc Staal (circled in green) correctly realizing that he has the ability to catch the Coyotes on a bad change. The red circle indicates the three Coyote forwards who are either changing or just getting onto the ice and thus are about to get caught behind the play. This goal doesn't happen without Zuccarello and Kreider's magic, but the entire play is started by Staal's perfect breakout pass to Zuccarello (who is all the way at the opposing blue line.

Zuccarello takes the puck and starts breaking into the zone. Kreider, smelling blood, turns on the burners and guns into the slot. It will not take Kreider long to get ahead of Connor Murphy (both circled in green). Zuccarello keeps the puck with him along the boards as he moves into the zone. Nick Grossmann (circled in red) is going to try and shut Zuccarello off in the offensive zone but Zuccarello has a plan for that.

OK this slide needs a little key. The thick arrows are to indicate where each player is looking. The dashed green arrow is where Zuccarello eventually passes the puck. Zuccarello feigns that Kreider is further back than he is, so Grossmann starts closing the lane down on Zuccarello. This no-look pass, though, keeps Mike Smith's attention on Zuccarello while Kreider sneaks in unnoticed.

The star is where Kreider eventually deflects the puck into the net. Only now does Grossmann realize that Zuccarello has tricked him but it is too late. The puck is already in the net.

This slide is just to show how small the window is for Kreider to score the goal. Not only was it a perfect deflection but his proves how important Zuccarello holding Smith's attention for an extra second is because the minute Kreider puts the puck into this green triangle Smith closes the door. If this play develops a split second later it's a save that would feel like a gut-punch. Instead Kreider hammers it home and the Rangers go on to win the game.

Lots of credit to Staal, Zuccarello and Kreider here. Watch the full goal here.