Zibanejad scores in 3rd to lift Rangers past Coyotes, 3-2
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — One of Arizona’s biggest concerns against New York was the Rangers’ dangerous power play, led Mika Zibanejad.
The Coyotes managed to kill off an early penalty, but were hit with another at a crucial junction. The puck ended up on Zibanajed’s stick and he made them pay.
Zibanejad broke a tie with the goal in the third period, Artemi Panarin had a goal and two assists and the Rangers kept the Coyotes winless at Mullett Arena with a 3-2 victory Sunday night.
“We have to be honest, we’re scared to death of their power play,” Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said. “They have elite players and we got away with it in the first.”
The Coyotes couldn’t capitalize on a raucous crowd in the opener at the 5,000-seat Arizona State University arena Friday night, losing 3-2 to Winnipeg in overtime.
New York pressured Arizona early despite playing the night before and went up on Alexis Lafreniere’s second-period goal. The Coyotes responded quickly on goals by Lawson Crouse and Nick Bjugstad, but the Rangers ramped up the pressure again.
Panarin scored late in the second period and New York went on a power play in the third when Dylan Guenther was called for hooking in Arizona’s offensive zone.
Panarin got the winning play started by sending a puck to the crease, Chris Kreider redirected it behind him and Zibanejad flipped in his sixth goal of the season over Connor Ingram with seven minutes left. Igor Shesterkin stopped 18 shots for the Rangers.
“It was a great play by (Kreider) and it was up to me to hit the net,” Zibanejad said. “It went in this time around.”
The Rangers had the early jump in the second game of a back to back, spending long stretches with the puck in Arizona’s end.
Ingram saw the puck and moved well in his first start at The Mullett, turning away a flurry of shots on a power play midway through. He also splayed out to stop Vincent Trocheck on a breakaway shortly after that. He finished with 36 saves.
New York kept up the pressure early in the first period and scored when Lafreniere slipped in behind Ingram for a one-timer on a pass from Panarin in the right circle.
Lawson tied it on a power play a few minutes later, beating Shesterkin glove side on a feed from Guenther.
BJugstad put Arizona up 2-1 on a flip shot past Shesterkin after New York defenseman Ryan Lindgren whiffed trying to clear a rebound.
Panarin tied it late in the second period, flipping a sharp-angle shot between Ingram’s left shoulder and the post.
Arizona killed off a penalty in the first period, but gave the Rangers another power play at the wrong time — and the puck ended up on Zibanejad’s stick.
“I thought we played good, but it came down to a penalty kill and they have such a good power play,” Bjugstad said.
Panarin turned 31 on Sunday, but the Rangers felt like they were the ones receiving gifts from the talented left wing — particularly Lafreniere.
Panarin had a defender draped all over him in the right circle and traffic in front of him, but somehow found his teammate charging to the crease from the back side.
“It’s more of a gift from him to me,” Lafreniere said. “He played great again. When you play with him, you’ve just got to try to get your stick down and good things happen.”
NOTES: New York F Vitali Kravtsov did not play after slamming hard into the boards against Dallas on Saturday. … Coyotes F Nick Schmaltz missed his seventh straight game with an upper-body injury.
Rangers: Hosts Philadelphia on Tuesday night.
Coyotes: Hosts Florida on Tuesday night.
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