National Hockey League
- Madison Square Garden PUCK DROP -
Arizona Coyotes
ML: ARI +192
NY Rangers Rangers
ML: NYR -214
Goalie Performance
Mike Smith
#41 G Mike Smith
Henrik Lundqvist
#30 G Henrik Lundqvist
0.889 SV% 24 SV
0.971 SV% 34 SV
Scoring Leaders
Klas Dahlbeck
#34 D Klas Dahlbeck Goals Assists 1 0
Martin Hanzal
#11 C Martin Hanzal Goals Assists 0 1
Max Domi
#16 LW Max Domi Goals Assists 0 1
Mats Zuccarello
#36 RW Mats Zuccarello Goals Assists 0 2
Keith Yandle
#93 D Keith Yandle Goals Assists 1 0
Rick Nash
#61 LW Rick Nash Goals Assists 1 0

NEW YORK -- It was a Thursday night of firsts for the New York Rangers.

Left wingers Chris Kreider and Rick Nash ended their season-long scoring droughts and defenseman Keith Yandle scored in his first game against his former team as the Rangers defeated the Arizona Coyotes 4-1 at Madison Square Garden.

Yandle, who was acquired by the Rangers at last season's trade deadline, scored a power-play goal early in the third period, about four minutes after center Kevin Hayes put the Rangers ahead for good with his second goal of the game.

The victory moved the Rangers (5-2-1) into first place in the Metropolitan Division.

Yandle went to dinner with some of his former teammates Wednesday night and admitted it was special to score a goal and get a win in what was a unique situation for him.

"It was one of those things I tried not to think about too much and tried not to let it get in my head, but it was," Yandle said. "It was a little bit emotional but I think after the first couple shifts it was game time and it was a fun game to play in."

Yandle's goal was the result of a blast from the point that deflected off a pair of Coyotes (3-3-1) and past goaltender Mike Smith, who made 23 saves as his team lost its fourth straight after opening the season 3-0.

Nash's goal was almost equally as strange. With Smith on the bench for an extra attacker in the final minute, Nash was hooked on a clear breakaway. The puck slipped off his stick but officials awarded Nash his first goal in 28 shots.

"The way things had been going," Nash quipped, "it felt pretty standard."

After these teams played two mostly suffocating periods of defense -- the Coyotes didn't register their first shot until 5:14 remained in the first period -- the game transformed into a shootout.

The Coyotes opened the scoring with 4:26 remaining in the first period. Defenseman Klas Dahlbeck beat goaltender Henrik Lundqvist with a long wrist shot to make it 1-0. The goal could be credited to both the accuracy of Dahlbeck's shot and the slow reaction of a goaltender that didn't have much to do for most of the opening period.

That shot would be the only one to beat Lundqvist, who finished as the game's first star after making 34 saves.

"It was a strange game," Lundqvist said. "I think we did a good job. After we tied the game, we got energized and our game picked up a little bit."

Kreider evened the score at 1 on the first of two assists for right winger Mats Zuccarello midway through the second period. The goal seemed to give both teams a lift, as Smith and Lundqvist had to make some difficult stops to keep the game tied heading to the third.

But it was a misplay behind the net by Smith that led to Hayes scoring what would be the game-winning goal.

"It was a close game," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "The big goal is the one that it's a tight game and you give up the second and you're chasing."

"It's disappointing," Coyotes right winger Shane Doan said. "We had some opportunities and couldn't capitalize on them. They had some opportunities they capitalized on. We've got to get some more offense out of a lot of other guys."

That had been the cry for the Rangers, who received three goals from three players that entered the game goalless despite scoring 69 goals a season ago.

Sure, Nash's goal never crossed the goal line, but he'll take the win and enjoy the fact the Rangers mustered the effort in the third period to beat a Western Conference team that doesn't exactly get the adrenaline flowing this early in the season.

"I think we were explaining to each other how important these two points were," Nash said of the conversation in the locker room after the second period. "You're going against a team that is not in your division, not in your conference, it's October, and we just tried to put emphasis on how important these two points were and we needed them."

NOTES: Coyotes C Antoine Vermette (lower body) left the game during the second period and did not return. ... Coyotes LW John Scott and D Stefan Elliot were healthy scratches. C Joe Vitale (broken orbital bone) did not play. ... Rangers C Derek Stepan played despite being a game-time decision after having a wisdom tooth removed Wednesday. The dental surgery required the removal of two screws that were inserted when Stepan broke his jaw during the 2014 playoffs. ... Rangers D Dylan McIlrath and RW Emerson Etem were healthy scratches. Both players have appeared in only one game this season.
Top Game Performances
Arizona   NY Rangers
Klas Dahlbeck 1 Points Mats Zuccarello 2
Klas Dahlbeck 1 Goals Kevin Hayes 1
Max Domi 1 Assists Mats Zuccarello 2
N/A Power Play Goals Keith Yandle 1
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Mike Smith .889 Save Percentage Henrik Lundqvist .971
Mike Smith 24 Saves Henrik Lundqvist 34
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Arizona 35 1 0-3 2-3 6 28
NY Rangers 27 4 1-3 3-3 6 42
Upcoming Games
  • NY Rangers will play their next game on the road against Philadelphia. The Rangers have a W/L % of .800 after a win and .333 after a loss.
  • Arizona will play their next game on the road against Ottawa. The Coyotes have a W/L % of .667 after a win and .250 after a loss.