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Three Unanswered Goals Propel Rangers past Coyotes and Into First Place

Fresh off of a 1-0 shutout of the Calgary Flames, the Rangers found themselves down early once again, as Mark Arcobello scored quickly off of Cam Talbot. He Rangers were able to fight back and tie the score, as the BC Connection Kevin Hayes and Chris Kreider swooped down on Mike Smith and a perfect pass from Hayes found Kreider’s tape for a picture perfect goal.

The disaster struck, as the Rangers were penalized for a high stick and then a delay of game. This resulted in a two-man advantage for the Coyotes and they were able to score not once, but twice; as Sam Gagner tallied both of them.

The Blueshirts found themselves down 3-1 to a team had lost seven in a row. This did not sit well with the team and they came out with steam to start the second.

It was Lee Stempniak who deflected a point shot by John Moore past Mike Smith to cut the deficit to one. Then near the end of the period, the officials missed a high stick on the Rangers that drew blood and would have been a four minute double minor and instead called a holding penalty on Michael Stone.

This would prove to be the turning point, as a bad pass by the Coyotes in the Ranger’s end turned into a breakaway for Chris Kreider. The fleet footed former BC Eagle sped down the ice, took a wrist shot that Smith stopped, but with hands as quick as a hiccup, Kreids controlled the puck and slipped a backhander past the Arizona Goalie to tie the score at 3all.

In the third, the game was as tight as Jack Benny’s wallet, until about two minutes were left in the game. Then a shot by Kevin Hayes was controlled by Stempniak, who shot the puck, collected HIS rebound and backhanded it past Smith to finally give the Rangers their first goal of the game.

A penalty gave the Coyotes a power play and the pulled Smith, but the Rangers protected their goal and were able to win their fourth in a row, 4-3.


ARI: Mark Arcobello (13), Assisted by David Moss & Michael Stone

NYR: Chris Kreider (15) PPG, Assisted by Kevin Hayes & Mats Zuccarello

ARI: Sam Gagner (11) PPG, Assisted by Oliver Ekman-Larsson

ARI: Sam Gagner (12) PPG, Assisted by Michael Stone & Martin Erat

NYR: Lee Stempniak (8), Assisted by John Moore

NYR: Chris Kreider (16), Unassisted

NYR: Lee Stempniak (9), Assisted by Kevin Hayes

Team Stats                              ARI                               NYR

Shots on Goal                         40                                  38

Power Play                              2 for 5                           2 for 3

Hits                                         22                                  14

Face Off Wins                        43                                  25

Giveaways                              13                                  16

Takeaways                             4                                    7

Blocked Shots                         19                                  8


3 Stars of the Game:

3rd Star: Sam Gagner: 2 Goals

2nd Star: Chris Kreider: 2 Goals

1st Star: Lee Stempniak: 2 Goals

Goalie Stats:

Mike Smith: 34 Saves on 38 Shots for a SV% of .895

Cam Talbot: 37 Saves on 40 Shots for a SV% of .925

Broadway Bits:

The Rangers have now extended their point streak to a season high ten games (8-0-2)

Since December 8th, 2014; the Rangers have the best record in the NHL: 27-6-2. They lead the NHL in wins (27), points (56), point percentage (.800), regulation/OT wins (25) and goal differential (plus 42)

Right now, the Blueshirts are tied for first in the NHL in regulation/OT wins (35), rank second in goals per game (3.12), and goal differential (plus 42) and rank third in points percentage  (.683)

They have posted a record of 10-1-2 in February, which is only the second time they have accomplished this in franchise history. The first time was 1971-72

They also lead the NHL with 50 goals in February and in goals per game with (3.85)

Both Lee Stempniak and Chris Kreider scored two goals in the game

Kevin Hayes registered two assists in the game.

This was the 83rd victory for Alain Vigneault as Ranger head coach. He is in sole possession of 10th place, as he passes Fred Shero

Mats Zuccarello registered an assist, as did John Moore

Cam Talbot stopped 37 shots to register his 12th win of the season


The NY Rangers are now in First Place in the Metropolitan Division, with a record of 38-16-6 for 82 points

They are tied with the NY Islanders, but have played two games less, so they are atop the Division

The Rangers are 6 points ahead of Washington and have 2 games in hand

The Rangers are 3 points ahead of the Penguins and have one game in hand


The Rangers close out the month of February on Saturday evening in Philly as they face the Flyers at 8:00PM

Then the NHL leading Nashville Predators come to MSG. The Rangers lost 3-2 in Nashville and will be out for some pay back on Monday. Then on Wednesday the Blueshirts will be in the Motor City to meet the Red Wings.

The season will hit March on Monday and will be winding down quickly. There are just 22 games left and Rick Nash needs 13 goals in those 22 games to reach the magical number of 50. There are also 22 games left for the Rangers to get Henrik Lundqvist back and to capture the Metropolitan Division and take a shot at the Eastern Conference.

Remember, in Hockey, anything and everything is possible!!!

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