The New York Rangers continued to roll tonight, and earned their fifth straight victory with a 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes. Antti Raanta turned away 39 of the 40 shots he faced tonight, and played a big part in helping the Rangers close this one out in Arizona. Unfortunately, Raanta's shutout was broken with just four seconds remaining in regulation, despite the Rangers locking it down in the defensive zone.
Unlike last game, the Rangers had an extremely quick start to this game and pressured the Coyotes right from the opening puck drop. That lead to an early goal coming from Jesper Fast, and he gave the Rangers an early 1-0 lead just eight minutes into the game. The hard-nosed forecheck by Fast and Dominic Moore forced the Coyotes into a turnover in the corner, and the puck slid right out Dan Girardi at the point.
Girardi wound up tossing a quick wrist shot towards the net, and as it came in on Mike Smith, Jesper Fast got just enough of the puck to change it's direction. Smith was unable to recover with a quick reaction, and the puck slipped by for the opening goal of the game. Heading into the second period, the Rangers looked to build on their early game momentum, and wound up adding on three more goals to make it a 4-0 game.
The first goal came courtesy of J.T. Miller, who bobbled a puck in the high slot, and it slid slowly towards Smith through a ton of bodies in front. Smith wasn't able to locate the slow moving puck, and it wound up slipping between his legs to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead. It was a bit of a fluky bounce given that Miller never even shot the puck, but the Rangers won't complain about that one.
Then just over three minutes later, Chris Kreider extended the Rangers lead to 3-0 by firing a hard wrist shot coming down the wing. Smith didn't appear to expect the quick release by Kreider, and the puck, once again, slipped between his legs. Following the third goal, Smith's night came to an end, and Anders Lindback came in to relieve him of his duties for the rest of the evening.
The Rangers weren't done just yet, and Kevin Hayes made it a 4-0 game with a little under seven minutes remaining in the second period. The goal wound up coming on the power play, and Hayes was able to beat Lindback with a seeing-eye shot through traffic. Coming out of the second intermission, the Rangers looked to have a solid final 20 minutes, and walk out with two more points in their back pocket.
All went according to plan, except the Rangers were unable to preserver Antti Raanta's shutout, and the Coyotes got on the board with 5 seconds remaining. Shane Doan was credited with the final goal of the game, and was able to beat Raanta over the shoulder after a rebound landed right on his tape. Despite losing the shutout, Raanta laughed off the final goal, and celebrated his third win of the regular season.