New York Rangers survive in the desert to overcome the Arizona Coyotes

A difficult night in Arizona for the defense sees the New York Rangers score eight as Jonathan Quick becomes the winningest US born netminder ever

Mar 30, 2024; Tempe, Arizona, USA;  Arizona Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka (70) defends as New
Mar 30, 2024; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Arizona Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka (70) defends as New / Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

I said in the pregame article that this game just needed to result in the two points. This isn't exactly what I had in mind, but it is what it became. Jonathan Quick became the winningest American netminder in NHL history as he backstopped the New York Rangers to a win over the Arizona Coyotes in the desert. He probably didn't want it to be done in the form of a 13 goal thriller, but it is job done regardless.

It started well when Alexis Lafreniere would open the scoring. Ryan Lindgren threw the puck up the boards to Artemi Panarin who would lay it off for Lafreniere to enter the zone on a two-on-one. Trocheck was across the ice, but the Quebecois winger unloaded the shot and it was enough to beat Karel Vejmelka and break the deadlock in the desert.

In the second, the Rangers would double the lead when Adam Fox was able to pick a pass through the eye of a needle. Ryan Lindgren was streaking down the ice to the post to get the pass from Fox, and he couldn't miss. It was a beautiful play from the Rangers top defensive pairing, and they would double the Blueshirts lead in this one. A large cluster of Ranger fans in the crowd rose for this one, which is always nice to see.

Arizona would then cut the lead in half when Jack McBain would enter the offensive zone after taking the puck drop a drop pass by Josh Doan. McBain left the puck for Matias Maccelli, who was able to get the puck past Jonathan Quick in the Ranger net to give Mullett Arena some life. It wasn't the most convincing of performances defensivelt, and this was just the start of the issues for the Rangers.

Eventually, the Rangers would get the two goal lead back. Alexis Lafreniere got the puck in the low slot off a pass from Vincent Trocheck behind the net. He went backhand, forehand and roofed the puck past the Coyotes netminder to confirm the Rangers control on the night, but it would only get crazier from here.

Arizona would get the next one when Alex Wennberg couldn't clear the defensive zone. Nick Schmaltz gathered the puck before it could exit the zone and worked it to Clayton Keller, who would fire it home to bring the Coyotes back to within one. It's a reminder these Dogs have teeth and will bite back if you are not in control.

New York would get the next one when a Jacob Trouba point shot was stopped by Vejmelka. The rebound fell to Chris Kreider on the door step who put it home, or so we all thought. The Coyotes challenged for goaltender interference and were able to get the goal overturned. A potential momentum shifting moment in this game going against the Rangers.

Arizona would tie us up when Nick Schmaltz was able work the puck from behind the goal line was able to get the puck into the high slot for his teammate. Nick Bjugstad would get it past Quick and the Rangers were being dragged back into this game in the desert after some poor defensive play in their own zone, but we had a game here in the desert.

In the third, New York would come out with a thunderous response. Coming through the neutral zone, Lindgren would enter the zone and play a give-and-go with Mika Zibanejad. Swooping behind the net Lindgren found a pass to Kreider who would get one to count this time. New York regained their lead in the third, and the Blueshirts took control once again.

New York would strike again on an odd-man rush. Artemi Panarin would find Alexis Lafreniere cruising up the ice and the Quebecois winger would enter the offensive one with Zac Jones. Lafreniere's pass is picture perfect and the young defenseman was able to put the puck home for his second goal of the season.

After that, we would see the moon turn blue and a flying pig showed us it was a rare moment. Shorthanded, Barclay Goodrow would get behind the Coyotes attackers when they failed to keep the zone and he burst in alone on Vejmelka. While Trocheck was with him, he called his own number and got it to go through Vejmelka for his second of the season.

From here, the Coyotes would start to fight back. On the powerplay, Bjugstad would enter the offensive zone and find a pass to Logan Cooley. Cooley would spin around to find Lawson Crouse sitting at the high slot, and he would rip it home to bring the Coyotes back to within two. These desert dog were not going away, but the Rangers were in control still.

However, the Coyotes offered a little more of a scare with five minutes to go. Logan Cooley would play a pass from one corner of the offensive zone to the other as he found Jusso Valimaki on the other side of the ice. He pulled it up to the slot for Mattias Maccelli to load up and fire before Cooley was able to deflected it home, and this was now a lot closer than it should be.

However, the Rangers would survive. Panarin would first hit the empty net before Alexis Lafreniere would hit the empty net for his first career NHL hat trick, and the Rangers win. Quick becomes the winningest American born netminder in NHL history, Lafreniere gets his first career hat trick, Panarin had all the points, and it was a good night. The defense won't be looking at this one fondly, but it resulted in a win.