Lee Stempniak‘s second goal of the game, with only 2:14 to play, gave the New York Rangers a 4-3 win over Arizona Thursday night at The Garden. It was the Blueshirts’ fourth straight win, and they are 8-0-1 in their last nine. Arizona has now lost eight straight games.
Stempniak and Chris Kreider each scored twice for the Rangers. Sam Gagner scored twice for the Coyotes.
The Rangers dug themselves a very early hole, giving up a goal to Arizona’s Marc Arcobello 41 seconds into the contest. Kreider tied the game at 8:11 with his 15th of the season, a power play goal.
The Rangers had a couple of costly penalties in the final four minutes of the first period, and Coyotes took the lead. After Martin St. Louis was called for tripping at 16:20 and Kevin Klein was called for delay of game at 17:23, Gagner capitalized on the 5-on-3 advantage to score at 17:54, and make it 2-1. Gagner scored another power play goal at 19:20 to give Arizona a 3-1 lead after one period.
But the Rangers clawed their way back. Stempniak deflected a John Moore shot at 5:33 of the second period to cut the lead to 3-2. And Kreider’s unassisted goal with 12 seconds to go in the period tied the game at 3-all, setting the stage for Stempniak’s late heroics in the third.
The Rangers’ defense once again stood tall in the frenetic final minutes of the game. The Coyotes pulled their goalie but Ryan McDonagh and Dominic Moore and Dan Girardi helped keep the puck out of the net. Cam Talbot finished with 37 saves in the win.
The Rangers [now 38-16-6, 82 pts] head to Philadelphia for a game against the Flyers Saturday night.