In what seems to be an extended rut, the Arizona Coyotes drop yet another game 5-2, this time to the New York Rangers. As per the course, the Coyotes started strong but failed to hold back the Rangers offense and couldn’t seem to find their momentum after. While there were some obvious bright spots, mostly Clayton Keller, Anthony Duclair, and Brendan Perlini, this loss is just another notch in the bedpost for Arizona. Once again, shaky defense, inexperienced goaltending, and a dull showing by the offensive core leaves the Coyotes empty-handed.
1-0 Rangers (Kreider): After a few huge saves by Adin Hill, Mats Zuccarello sends a beautiful back-handed pass straight to Chris Kreider who buries it behind Hill. Mika Zibanejad had the initial takeaway to send Zuccarello out ahead of the Coyotes players.
2-0 Rangers (Buchnevich): Arizona dumped the puck into the Rangers zone where Ryan McDonagh, off a pass from Boo Nieves, set up Pavel Buchnevich to sneak through the Arizona defense. Buchnevich hit the crossbar and it slipped in behind Hill.
2-1 Coyotes (Duclair): The Coyotes came out with energy for the second period and it paid off, with Duclair netting his third goal of the season. Perlini and Christian Dvorak both had solid chances before Dvorak threw a hard shot on Pavelec, picked up his own rebound, and got it to Duclair who shovels it in backhand.
3-1 Rangers (Grabner): Just when Arizona was starting to find some momentum, Nieves battled his way deep into the Coyotes zone to find Michael Grabner. Grabner dekes and niftily finds the back of Arizona’s net for his first of the game.
4-1 Rangers (Buchnevich): In a game full of bad giveaways, Hill came out to play the puck and didn’t put enough on it to reach a teammate. Nieves, who happened to be in an opportune spot, directed it to Buchnevich, who then bounced it off the wall and jabbed it into the empty net for his second of the game while Hill was knocked down out of position.
4-2 Coyotes (Keller): Coming out of the second intermission, Arizona seemed to find their way again, this time on the man advantage. Kevin Shattenkirk was sent to the box for roughing up Nick Cousins, putting the Coyotes on the power-play. Oliver Ekman-Larsson made a cross-ice pass to Keller who fed it in but it was blocked and rebounded off of Nick Holden. Keller picked up his own rebound and fell to his knee to slap it in, scoring his seventh goal of the season.
5-2 Rangers (Grabner): After a flurry of chances both ways and an eventful fight between Jason Demers and Kreider, the Coyotes called Hill to the bench, leaving their net empty and sending out an extra attacker with 1:31 left in the period. Ekman-Larsson failed to collect a pass and Grabner took it away, scoring into the empty net with 36 seconds left.
Can The Coyotes out skate the Rangers?
Yes...but also no? Either way, it didn’t really help.
Will goaltending be stable?
I think we all saw how that one went. While Hill did make some key and important saves, it’s the easy saves that he needs to be making too. To paraphrase Steve Dangle: “it’d be nice to get a save”.
Did they win?
Players of the Game
Arizona - Anthony Duclair: While one could argue that Keller deserves to be the Coyotes player of the game, seeing as he’s got 7 goals in 10 games, Duclair’s line was the more dominant and effective group. Also, his tally tonight is his third of the season, so he’s already on track for a better start than last year.
Rangers - Boo Nieves: First off, that’s a cool nickname (Cristoval is his given name). Besides that, Nieves was a key part in three of the Rangers’ goals, tallying three assists on the night. Though, Buchnevich and Grabner both receive honorable mentions for scoring two goals each.
Media Three Stars
3. Michael Grabner
2. Pavel Buchnevich
1. Boo Nieves
- Head on over to Blueshirt Banter for all things Rangers
- One of the biggest bright spots was the return of Brendan Perlini. He seemed to be burning for the puck on his stick all night, digging them out of the corners, making passes, and generally just flying around like he’d been set free from a cage. He couldn’t quite connect for a goal, but with his enthusiasm, you can tell the floodgates are going to open soon.
- Max Domi also had a solid night. Though he also did not contribute a tally, he had a team-high 5 shots on goal and was third amongst the forwards in ice time with 20:10, behind on Keller (21:45) and Stepan (20:21).
- Again, Clayton Keller keeps chugging away and scoring goals like he’s made for it (spoiler: he definitely is). With his power-play tally tonight, Keller is now at 7 goals and 4 assists in 10 games. This puts him not only at a rookie-class leading total of 11 points, but also in the Top 5 of NHL goal scorers.
The Road Ahead
The Arizona Coyotes have Friday off but continue their #CoyotesRoadie in the Northeast, facing off against the red-hot New Jersey Devils on Saturday, October 28th. Puck drop is at 4 p.m. Arizona time and you can catch all the action on Fox Sports Arizona Plus.