When the New York Rangers headed out for a two-game Midwest swing, they were dejected about another home loss, especially one to the Islanders.
After experiencing mixed results on their trip, the Rangers will attempt to halt a three-game home losing streak (0-2-1) Sunday night when they host the Arizona Coyotes.
New York is a pedestrian 3-3-3 at home this season, where they have been outscored 27-22 and have blown multi-goal leads in their past two home contests. On Tuesday, the Rangers followed up a 3-2 overtime loss to the Detroit Red Wings by allowing three goals in the final 20 minutes of a 4-3 loss to the Islanders.
After the defeat to the Islanders, the Rangers busted out when 12 players registered at least one point in an 8-2 rout at Detroit on Thursday that featured six goals in the third period. On Saturday, New York took a 2-1 loss at Nashville when it outshot the Predators 35-18 and went 0-for-5 on the power play, including a four-minute man advantage late in the third.
“It wasn’t as good as it should have been,” New York coach Gerard Gallant said of the team’s power play. “I mean, that was the difference, obviously. They had some looks, but they didn’t have the premier looks that they usually get. Just a little off, that’s all.”
The inability to score meant the end of seven-game point streaks by Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider. Zibanejad had 10 points (five goals, five assists) while Kreider had nine points (four goals, five assists) during their seven games.
“We controlled the play and we just need to keep doing what we’re doing,” New York’s Barclay Goodrow added. “It can get frustrating, but we can’t get down. It’s all about moving on and getting the two points tomorrow night.”
Two weeks ago, the Rangers improved to 12-1-2 in the past 15 meetings with the Coyotes when Zibanejad scored the tiebreaking goal in the third on the power play in a 3-2 win in Arizona on Oct. 30.
The Rangers won that meeting after playing an afternoon game in Dallas the previous day.
This time, they took a late night flight back to the New York area while the Coyotes merely must cross the Hudson River for the game. They have been in the New York area since Wednesday.
Arizona is 3-1-0 on its 14-game road trip after taking a 4-2 loss Saturday night in Newark, N.J., to the red-hot New Jersey Devils. The Coyotes are on the lengthy trip and play 20 of their first 24 games on the road while a locker room annex is completed at their temporary new home, Mullett Arena on the Arizona State University campus.
Dylan Guenther and Clayton Keller scored tying goals on the power-play before the Coyotes allowed two goals in a span of 2:56 in the second period. Those goals gave Arizona 15 goals in 48 power-play opportunities (31.3 percent).
“Everyone out there has got a lot of confidence,” Arizona coach Andre Tourigny said. “We just want to keep doing everything we can to stay as hot as we can on the power play.”
The Coyotes finished with 18 shots on goal and have only cracked 30 shots once this season. That was in a 7-2 loss to the Dallas Stars on Nov. 3 before they opened the trip with wins over the Washington Capitals, Buffalo Sabres and Islanders.
–Field Level Media