The New York Rangers rebounded this evening after a tough loss in Carolina, and blew out the Arizona Coyotes by a final score of 7-3. New York had a rough opening half of this game before absolutely torching the Coyotes with six unanswered goals. Igor Shesterkin got the start in net for the Rangers this evening, and turned aside 26 of the 29 shots he faced throughout the game.
Liam O’Brien (2) - Loui Eriksson (8) & Shayne Gostisbehere (18) - 2:29
Just under three minutes into the game, the Coyotes were able to take advantage of some early offensive zone pressure. Shayne Gostisbehere’s point shot somehow found its way through traffic, and generated a rebound after being deflected in front by Loui Eriksson. The puck popped right out to the side of the net where Liam O’Brien was waiting, and he slammed home his second of the season.
Jacob Trouba (7) - Mika Zibanejad (25) & Chris Kreider (13) - 3:15
Despite giving up the early goal against, the Rangers were able to find the equalizers under a minute after O’Brien’s opening tally. Jacob Trouba possessed the puck after a clean faceoff win by Mika Zibanejad, and made a great hesitation move at the blue line. The great move gave Trouba enough time to put a shot towards the net, and it found its way into the back of the net. Karel Vejmelka picked up the puck pretty late with a partial screen in front, and the puck sailed by him to make it a 1-1 game.
Andrew Ladd (6) - Christian Fischer (4) & Riley Nash (2) - 6:58
Even though the Rangers were able to jump back into the game, the early mistakes crept back into their game. Nearly three minutes later, the Coyotes were able to restore their one-goal lead with a tap in at the top of the crease by Andrew Ladd. Both Patrik Nemeth and Braden Schneider were caught chasing the puck carrier behind the net, and that left Andrew Ladd uncontested at the top of the crease. A quick pass by Christian Fischer was all the Coyotes needed, and they jumped out to a 2-1 lead.
Clayton Keller (15) - Nick Schmaltz (9) & Travis Boyd (9) - 7:01
Things went from bad to worse for the Rangers, and Arizona found a way to double up their lead just before the halfway mark of the game. An intended clearing attempt by Jacob Trouba wound up deflecting off of the linesman’s skate and that kept the puck alive in the defensive zone. A clean tic-tac-toe passing play between Nick Schmaltz, Travis Boyd and Clayton Keller resulted following the turnover, and Keller snapped a shot past Igor Shesterkin.
Chris Kreider (27) - Jacob Trouba (13) SHG - 11:30
The Rangers needed something to go right for them to get back into this game, and they got exactly the spark they needed from Chris Kreider. Mika Zibanejad started the entire sequence with a ridiculous move behind his back to create some space.
Zibanejad immediately found Trouba cutting towards the goal line to generate a shot on goal. Trouba kept with the play despite behind denied, and fed a pass back across the ice to Chris Kreider for the tap in. The shorthanded tally brought the Rangers back within a goal with plenty of time remaining in the game.
Julien Gauthier (3) - Dryden Hunt (5) & Kevin Rooney (4) - 15:26
Just under four minutes later, the Rangers completed the comeback as Julien Gauthier brought New York back even. The Rangers had much more life to their game following the shorthanded marker, and the fourth line got the job done. Kevin Rooney’s initial shot on goal gave Karel Vejmelka some issues as the puck dropped in the crease.
Dryden Hunt immediately pounced on the loose puck, and shoveled in towards the front of the net where Julien Gauthier was positioned. Gauthier was able to outwork the defender in front of the net, and tapped home the puck to pull New York even at 3-3.
Artemiy Panarin (11) - Adam Fox (37) & Mika Zibanejad (26) PPG - 16:33
The frustration started to set in for the Coyotes after coughing up a two-goal lead, and Johan Larsson was sent off for punching Adam Fox in the back of the head. Just 15 seconds into the man-advantage, Artemiy Panarin was able to work his way into space to put a shot on net. Vejmelka never stood a chance with an absolute bullet coming off of the tape of Panarin, and he put the Rangers up 4-3 after sniping home his 11th of the season.
Chris Kreider (28) - Unassisted - 18:42
Chris Kreider was man on a mission tonight for New York, and with under two minutes remaining in the second period, he picked up his second goal of the evening. Mika Zibanejad led a 2-on-1 rush into the offensive zone, and elected to feed the puck across the ice with Artemiy Panarin cutting to the net. The pass wound up deflecting off of the goaltender, and popped right out to Kreider who was trailing the play. Kreider had the entire net to shoot at with the goaltender out of position, and he gave the Rangers a commanding 5-3 lead.
Jacob Trouba (8) - K’Andre Miller (7) & Ryan Stome (22) - 1:33
After a tremendous second period of play, the Rangers kept their foot on the gas as they entered the final 20 minutes. Jacob Trouba was able to chase Karel Vajemelka from the crease after bombing a slap shot past the goaltender for his second goal of the night. Trouba certainly wasn’t shying away from shooting the puck, and he was rewarded for his great effort in this game.
Chris Kreider (29) - Adam Fox (38) & Artemiy Panarin (32) PPG - 10:06
Midway through the third period, the Rangers were handed another power play opportunity after Kyle Capobianco hauled down Julien Gauthier. With Kreider needing one more goal to complete the hat trick, Gerard Gallant sent the first power play unit out onto the ice. The long shot by Adam Fox gave Scott Wedgewood trouble and the puck dropped at the top of the crease. Chris Kreider was in perfect position to pickup the rebound and buried the shot on his backhand for his career-high 29th goal.
Things looked pretty grim early on in this game, but then the Rangers finally had something break their way, and they completely took over the game. Chris Kreider went into beast mode to carry the Rangers back from dead, and is currently tied with Alex Ovechkin for the league lead in goals. The Rangers will have a much needed off day tomorrow before returning to action on Monday night against the Los Angeles Kings.