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Arizona Coyotes fall 4-1 to the Rangers as Smith disappoints again

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Lousy goals allowed and inability to score on good chances lead to a 4-1 loss to the Rangers.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Despite having a season high 40 shots on goal, the Arizona Coyotes were unable to score when it mattered. On the other end, a mediocre defense and a sloppy, uninspiring performance from Mike Smith, were the reasons for the 4 goals conceded. Let's take a closer look at how things unfolded:

Game Summary

Arizona started the game on a fast pace, fighting hard for every puck and attacking the net. Things were looking good until a Michael Stone penalty (unintentional high-stick).After the end of the power play, the Rangers managed to score the first goal of the game after a Dan Girardi shot that was redirected into the net by Jesper Fast. That goal came just moments after an appreciation video for Keith Yandle was shown on the big-screen. Yandle didn't expect this at all, and he waved at the Gila River Arena crowd to show his appreciation as well.

Middway through the first period, the Coyotes were really close to an equalization on two occasions. First it was Nicklas Grossmann who flirted with a goal for a second consecutive game after hitting the post. Then there was this strange sequence: Tobias Rieder shoots the puck onto Anti Raanta, Hanzal gets the rebound and tries to score but the puck hits... Anthony Duclair before finding the net. Duclair then turns around to shoot the puck himself, but he also hits the post! The Rangers were really fortunate there to not concede a goal.

Arizona's pressure wouldn't stop there. Some minutes later, Smith makes a great pass to Duclair for the breakaway, who is unable to find the net but... Girardi almost did for him. While trying to clear the puck, he hits the post, but it stayed out.

Bad luck would strike again late in the 1st, as Grossmann was hurt in a collision with Jarret Stoll. He would miss the rest of the game with a lower-body injury.

Overall it was a solid period for the Coyotes, who had some quality chances to get even and perhaps take the lead. The 2nd period though was a whole different story. It was all New York.

Two minutes in, Shane Doan was unable to clear the puck in what should be an easy, routine play, and it bounces off J.T. Miller's skate to go through Smith's legs. It was a bad turnover by the Captain, but it should still have been an easy stop for Smith.

His struggles though would continue a few moments later. Chris Kreider scores after an assist from Derek Stepan by going 5-hole (again) on Smith. Another shot that Arizona's goalie would want to have back. Dave Tippett had seen enough, so he pulled Smith for Anders Lindback for the third time this season, and second in the last three games.

The Rangers didn't stop there, as they scored their final goal of the night on the power play with a Kevin Hayes wrist shot. Yandle had an assist on the play.

The Coyotes did get a few good chances to score in the 2nd period, but Antti Raanta wouldn't allow anything get past him.

On the 3rd period, New York didn't have to do a lot offensively, only getting 6 shots on goal. Arizona on the other hand had 18 shots on goal, desperately trying to cut the lead. They did get really close with 11:41 remaining, as Martin Hanzal found the net for the first time in the season . The goal though was eventually ruled off, due to the Czech center raising his stick too high to push the puck inside the net.

Arizona would ultimately manage to score with only 5 seconds remaing before the end of the game. Shane Doan got the rebound from a Kyle Chipchura shot, and crushed Raanta's shutout bid on the power play.

Our Three Stars of the Game

  • 3rd Star: Martin Hanzal. The Coyotes' top points leader (12, all of them assists) didn't get one this time, but he was the most active player offensively and was really close to scoring his first goal, even having one ruled off. With 6 shots on goal, 2 hits and a 60% faceoff win, he was Arizona's best player on the ice.
  • 2nd Star: Chris Kreider. Kreider had a goal and an assist, being the key to the Rangers' scoring spree in the 2nd period.
  • 1st Star: Antti Raanta: The Rangers backup goalie had a stellar performance, stopping 39 shots out of the 40 he faced. He was just 5 seconds away from a shutout, when Doan ruined it.

Fancy Stat Report

New York Rangers
Arizona Coyotes
1st Period Corsi Events
20
24
2nd Period Corsi Events
14
19
3rd Period Corsi Events
13
29
Total Corsi Events
47
72

Corsi events were pretty balanced for both teams through the first two periods. The gap was obviously widened in the third as the Coyotes were actively looking for a goal and the Rangers could afford to sit back.

Takeaways

  • Another game, another sloppy performance by Mike Smith after his hot start to the season. He now has a .900 save percentage overall on the season, which places him at number 48 out of 65 goalies. The Coyotes can't afford that, and we might see Lindback getting more starts if this goes on.

  • The final score doesn't accurately describe the Coyotes' offensive performance. They had 40 shots on goal (season high), hit the post three times in total, and had a shot that would have went inside the net if it didn't hit Duclair's body. Luck wasn't on their side, but Anti Raanta also had an amazing performance and couldn't be conquered.

Looking Ahead

The Coyotes will play back-to-back road games against two pacific division rivals, the Ducks and the Kings. The first game is in Anaheim, winners of last four, on Monday at 8 PM Arizona time.