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Recap: Rangers Roll Over Coyotes 3-2

Artemi Panarin celebrates his 31st birthday in style with a three point effort.

New York Rangers v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

After snapping their four game losing streak yesterday against the Stars, the Rangers looked to build upon that victory against the Arizona Coyotes.

Artemi Panarin, who turned 31 today, personally saw to that.

Despite an audible “Let’s go Rangers” chant to open the game, the Rangers looked sluggish against a rested Coyotes team for the first ten minutes. But after a Liam O’Brien was called for a crosscheck on Mika Zibanejad, the Rangers gained momentum. The Rangers powerplay put on a puck moving clinic that resulted in high quality chances, but no goals. The rest of the period continued in much the same way. The Rangers relentless forecheck kept the Coyotes hemmed in their zone and looked absolutely dominant, but Coyotes goalie Connor Ingram stood tall in net against all 15 shots on goal, including a Vincent Trochek breakaway. Igor Shesterkin, who also started yesterday, saved all seven shots on goal he faced, though Barrett Hayton hit the post on a wrister from the right circle.

The Rangers picked up right where they left off to start the second. Alexis Lafrenière opened the scoring 91 seconds into the period with his second goal of the year. Crashing the net, he was able to redirect a slick pass from birthday boy Artemi Panarin.

But Panarin would follow up his primary assist with his lone blunder, a pointless offensive zone penalty. The Coyotes man advantage was the very antithesis of the Rangers. They looked discombobulated, they were sloppy moving the puck, and they struggled to keep the puck in their zone.

Naturally, they scored. Rookie Dylan Guenther set up Lawson Crouse in the crease to tie the game.

The Coyotes struck again to go up 2-1 on a Nick Bjugstad goal. After Ingram made a good save on a Trocheck wrist shot, the Coyotes broke out quickly and challenged Shesterkin with a shot. After Shesterkin failed to control the rebound, Ryan Lindgren fanned on a clearing attempt. Bjugstad regathered the puck and finished with a high backhander.

The Rangers continued to threaten, and they finally broke through with two minutes to go. Artemi Panarin broke down the right side, used his body to protect the puck from a checking Shayne Gostisbehere, and slipped a quick shot through Ingram on the shortside to tie the game at two.

The final minute of the second saw Lindgren take a puck to the face, and Shesterkin make a beautiful save on a cross ice pass. That all checks out.

The first ten minutes of the third period had a great pace, with both teams skating hard and few whistles to slow down play. Panarin continued to draw notice with his uptempo play just about every shift. Zac Jones drew a hook to put the Rangers on the powerplay. The top unit again moved the puck with speed and ease before Panarin found Chris Kreider in the crease. Kreider fed Zibanejad a deft touch pass, the center put the puck home on what would be the game winner. It was Zibanejad’s sixth goal of the season, five of which have come on the man advantage.

Although the score was close, the result of the game never felt in doubt. Shesterkin had to make a few big saves, but this one was all Rangers. It was the kind of dominance a playoff team ought to exhibit against a dire team like the Coyotes. Artemi Panarin was phenomenal. What else is there to say about him at this point? He continues to be worth every cent of his contract.

After a successful weekend in the southwest, the Rangers return home to the Garden Tuesday to take on the Philadelphia Flyers.