Rangers Vs. Coyotes: Rangers Defeat Coyotes 5-2 on Home Ice
The New York Rangers put together a pretty complete effort this evening at Madison Square Garden and defeated the Arizona Coyotes 5-2. Welcoming in a win-less Coyotes squad and a rookie goaltender, the stars were aligned perfectly for the Rangers to formulate a quick start on home ice. Sure enough, after immense pressure in the offensive zone the Rangers finally caught the break that they were looking for. Led by a Mats Zuccarello rush into the offensive zone, Chris Kreider finished off a ridiculous behind the back pass from Zuccarello and gave the Rangers the early 1-0 lead.
The first goal quickly led to a second with Pavel Buchnevich catching Adin Hill sleeping in his crease at the 15:57 mark. Buchnevich was just looking to put a shot on net being that he was coming into the zone by himself, but the puck somehow slipped by Hill and suddenly it was 2-0 Rangers. Given how badly snakebitten the Rangers have been with their recent stretch of puck luck, it was nice to finally see them catch a lucky break for once.
There was a bit of a scare late in the period after Nick Holden shoved Max Domi into Ondrej Pavelec at full speed. Pavelec initially came up holding his shoulder but ended up shaking off the pain and remained in net to close out the period. Despite the Rangers impressive start during the first period, the Coyotes immediately made it a 2-1 game early in the second period.
Ex-Ranger Anthony Duclair jumped on a rebound at the top crease and shoveled the puck past Ondrej Pavelec. Thankfully, the Rangers responded almost immediately after the Coyotes goal with Michael Grabner registering his second goal of the season. Boo Nieves picked up his second assist of the night as well, and the Rangers regained their two goal lead.
A little under eight minutes later, the fourth line struck again with Pavel Buchnevich picking up his second goal of the night. Adin Hill created the chance for the Rangers with a costly turnover coming out of his crease and passing the puck straight to Boo Nieves. Nieves quickly found Buchnevich cutting to the net for the deflection but Buchnevich missed wide and stuffed the puck home on a second chance wrap around.
The Rangers had their work cut out for them heading into the third period, as they were forced to kill off a Kevin Shattenkirk roughing penalty. Unfortunately, Clayton Keller wound up scoring on the ensuing power play and rifled home a rebound following a blocked shot in front. That pulled the Coyotes back within a pair of goals, but from that point on the Rangers locked it down in the defensive end.
The Coyotes would be held off the board for the remainder of the game, and the Rangers would eventually net an empty netter with less than a minute remaining. Michael Grabner picked up the empty net goal after picking off a point-to-point pass in the defensive end and transitioned it into a partial breakaway.
Even though this was a victory against a relatively distraught hockey team, it’s something the Rangers can use to build momentum of off. They needed something to feel good about, and while it has happened in spurts in the past, picking up the win is what these players needed in the end. We’ll see if the Rangers can continue their success and build off of this win on Saturday night against the struggling Montreal Canadiens.