The Rangers (25-12-1) came into Arizona to face the lowly Coyotes (11-20-5), but it was an extremely close game in Glendale, one that took four power play goals and a hat trick from Matt Puempel to secure a 6-3 victory.
Puempel scored all three goals on the power play, becoming just the third Ranger to score a power play hat trick since 1986. Marc Messier (3/22/92) and Mike Gartner (1/31/94) were the other two. It was also his first career hat trick.
This was a mixed bag for the Rangers. They did a lot of things right. The offensive effort was strong, with the Rangers generating a lot of quality chances and shots, the power play running at full efficiency, and all four lines playing well in both zones. But they allowed the Coyotes to hang around and chip away at their lead until they tied the game at three. The defensive effort wasn’t all that great either. Realistically, this should have been an easy win, but the way they played at times made it difficult on themselves. Read the rest of this entry
The Rangers (24-12-1) came out of the Christmas break with a huge come-from-behind win over the Ottawa Senators, and look to keep on rolling as they take on the Arizona Coyotes (11-19-5) in Glendale, AZ.
This marks a matchup between one of the league’s best teams, and one of the league’s worst. The Coyotes have fewest wins and the second fewest points, struggling with injuries and an extremely young roster. The Rangers have also had to deal with a pretty significant amount of injuries among the forwards, but their depth and talent has kept them afloat.
This two-game road trip for the Rangers has them facing the Coyotes and the Avalanche, the two worst teams in the league. After that they take on the Sabres and the Flyers, so this presents a big opportunity for them to pick up some points they’ll need down the line. Read the rest of this entry