Former Ranger Derek Stepan scored two goals, including the game-winner in OT, as the Arizona Coyotes came-from-behind to beat the Rangers, 4-3, Friday night at The Garden. The Rangers are now 2-5-2 in their last nine games.
For a long while, it looked like the Rangers’ power play would propel them to a victory. The Blueshirts got power play goals from Pavel Buchnevich, Kevin Hayes, and Mika Zibanejad, and held a 3-0 lead in the 2nd.
Buchnevich, back in the lineup after missing 13 games, scored 4:01 into the 1st period to the Blueshirts a 1-0 lead. Hayes, off a great pass from Mats Zuccarello, made it 2-0 at the 17:26 mark with a power play goal of his own. It was Hayes’ 8th goal of the season.
In the 2nd, Zibanejad made it 3-0 at 5:48, with the team’s 3rd power play goal of the night. But, similar to the home game December 2nd against Winnipeg, the Rangers watched a 3-0 lead evaporate.
The Coyotes got on the scoreboard at 10:42 of the 2nd when Jordan Oesterle scored his 2nd of the season to make it 3-1. Then in the 3rd, Arizona rallied to tie it. Josh Archibald made it a 3-2 game, with 6:49 to play, off an assist from Stepan. And with 3:01 to play, Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s blistering snapshot found the goal, to tie the game, 3-3.
In overtime, Stepan beat Henrik Lundqvist with just 32 seconds left, for the 4-3 win. Stepan now has 7 goals on the season.
Hayes finished with a goal and an assist.
The Rangers [now 14-13-4, 32 pts] host the Vegas Golden Knights Sunday afternoon at The Garden.