In a game where the Arizona Coyotes’ offense finally found some life, the Coyotes’ penalty kill choked it away.
Arizona allowed four power play goals en route to a 6-3 loss at the hands of the New York Rangers at Gila River Arena on Thursday night. The loss was Arizona’s sixth in a row.
1-0 New York - The Coyotes took a penalty in the first minute of the game, and the Rangers made them pay for it. Matt Puempel streaked in on the far-side to set up a pass to Nick Holden, but his pass bounced off of Alex Goligoski and into the net. Assist to Jimmy Vesey on the power play goal at 2:24.
2-0 New York - On their second power play chance, the Rangers once again converted thanks to Nick Holden, who was in the low slot to one-time JT Miller’s behind-the-net pass. Assists to Miller and Kevin Hayes on the power play goal at 8:01.
2-1 New York - Christian Dvorak halved Arizona’s deficit with a slick wrister that went through traffic. Josh Jooris took a leap in front of the puck that would let him contend for a spot on the Canadian National High-Jumping Team, which proved to be just distracting enough to let the puck squeak past Antti Raanta. Assists to Connor Murphy and Oliver Ekman-Larsson on the goal at 15:16.
3-1 New York - The Rangers scored their first even-strength goal of the night as Martin Hanzal and Connor Murphy lost track of Chris Kreider. Kreider set himself in front of Mike Smith and tipped in a Nick Holden shot to restore New York’s two goal lead. Assists to Nick Holden and Mats Zuccarello on the goal at 1:13.
3-2 New York - Anthony Duclair got on the score-sheet again as his wrist shot appeared to deflect slightly off the stick of Dan Girardi. The change in direction was enough to throw off Raanta, who was unable to react fast enough to keep the puck out. Assists to Lawson Crouse and Jakob Chychrun on the goal at 15:32.
3-3 Tie - Arizona fought all the way back to tie the game on a beautiful individual effort from Tobias Rieder. Rieder streaked through the Rangers’ penalty kill unit and fed the puck to Radim Vrbata, who passed the puck right back to Rieder for a no-doubter in front of the net. Assists to Radim Vrbata and Martin Hanzal on the power play goal at 7:32.
4-3 New York - A questionable call on Martin Hanzal late in the third proved to be a back-breaker for the Coyotes, as Matt Puempel put home his second goal of the evening on the power play by deflecting in front of the crease a Ryan McDonagh point shot. Assists to McDonagh and Kevin Hayes on the power play goal at 14:40.
5-3 New York - With the net empty, the Rangers sealed the deal with a tenacious attack in the neutral zone. After they forced the puck in deep, Kevin Hayes reached the puck near-side and forced the puck in off of J.T. Miller, who received credit for his 10th goal of the year. Assists to Hayes and Jesper Fast on the empty-net goal at 19:33.
6-3 New York - If the wheels fell off after the late power play goal, this was the chassis becoming detached from the frame. Matt Puempel completed his hat trick thanks to an Oliver Ekman-Larsson unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. The penalty kill left Puempel completely unmarked all the way to the net, and Mike Smith had no chance to stop the shot. Assists to Brandon Pirri and Marek Hrivik on the power play goal at 19:43.
- Who is going to score? - The Coyotes got goals from Dvorak, Duclair, and Rieder, who were all players Arizona needs consistent production from going forward.
- Will the Coyotes dress seven defenseman again? - Michael Stone took a seat for the Coyotes tonight, as Arizona went with six defensemen.
- Can the Coyotes take advantage of no Henrik Lundqvist? - Raanta was shaky at best this evening, but Arizona’s penalty kill prevented the Coyotes from taking advantage of an otherwise decent offensive night.
Players of the Game
New York - Matt Puempel - Puempel recorded his first career hat trick with three power play goals, including the game-winner.
Arizona - Anthony Duclair - Duclair scored Arizona’s second goal of the night and drew the penalty that led to Arizona’s third. He had an all-around solid game in an otherwise bleak night.
- For more on the New York Rangers, check out Blueshirt Banter.
- Antti Raanta started his third game in four for the Rangers with Henrik Lundqvist ruled out tonight with the flu.
- Duclair’s goal was his second in as many games after going scoreless since November 3rd
- Lawson Crouse’s primary assist on Duclair’s goal was his first point since December 13th versus the Detroit Red Wings.
- Christian Dvorak leads all Coyotes rookies with 12 points (four goals, eight assists)
- With an assist on the Tobias Rieder power play goal, Martin Hanzal recorded his 300th career NHL point, all with the Coyotes.
Arizona gets away from Gila River Arena for a New Year’s Eve game against the Calgary Flames. Puck drop is at 8 PM Arizona time.