Post-game notes & quotes courtesy of the NYR:
Rangers 4, Coyotes 3 (OT).
– The Rangers won their 40th game of the season with a 4-3 overtime victory over the Phoenix Coyotes tonight at Madison Square Garden. The Blueshirts got a pair of goals by defensemen in the win, with Dan Girardi tying the game at 16:32 of the third and Ryan McDonagh notching the game-winner at 1:56 of the extra frame. New York has now won five of their last six games, including four straight, and have won two of their last three at home.
– The Blueshirts have posted a record of 40-29-4 overall (84 pts), including a 17-16-4 mark at home this season. With tonight’s win, the Rangers moved past the Philadelphia Flyers into second place in the Metropolitan Division standings.
– The Rangers have won 40 or more games in seven of the last nine seasons (seven of the last eight full seasons), and 17 times in franchise history. It is the first time in franchise history the Rangers have registered seven 40-win seasons in a nine-season span. The Blueshirts are one of six teams that have reached the 40-win mark at least seven times since the 2005-06 season, along with Pittsburgh, San Jose, Detroit, Anaheim, and Nashville.
– The Rangers have won nine of their last 12 games against the Coyotes, including a 6-1-0 mark at home over the span.
– The Blueshirts and Coyotes have been separated by one goal in five of their last six meetings, including three contests that required extra time.
– The Rangers out-shot the Coyotes, 36-21, including a 26-10 advantage after the first period. New York has now out-shot their opponent in four of their last five games (175-136 over the span), and have surpassed 30 shots in four contests during the stretch.
– The Blueshirts were credited with 24 hits in the contest, including nine players credited with two or more hits. Chris Kreider and Brian Boyle tied for the game-high with four hits apiece.
– Ryan McDonagh registered a career-high, three points (one goal, two assists), including the game-winning goal in overtime, to extend his point streak to four games (one goal, three assists). McDonagh’s first assist in the contest was his 100th career point. He also recorded three shots, two hits, two blocked shots, and a plus-three rating in a game-high, 29:16 of ice time. McDonagh has tallied 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in the last 12 games, and has logged 25:00+ of ice time in each of the last seven games. He surpassed the 40-point mark for the first time in his career, and now ranks fourth on the team with 42 points this season.
– Dan Girardi tallied two points, including the game-tying goal with 3:28 remaining in regulation and the primary assist on the overtime, game-winner, and posted a plus-three rating in 28:17 of ice time. He has now tallied four goals and six points in nine career games against Phoenix.
– Henrik Lundqvist made 18 saves to improve to 29-22-4 overall, including a 13-13-4 mark at home this season. He is 7-2-0 with a 1.78 GAA, .938 Sv%, and two shutouts in his last nine contests. The Rangers’ franchise leader in wins and shutouts moved into a tie with Billy Smith for 24th on the NHL all-time wins list with 305 career victories.
– Brad Richards registered a goal, three shots, and a plus-three rating in 21:34 of ice time. He is now tied for second on the team with 17 goals and ranks third with 47 points this season.
– Derick Brassard recorded a goal, three shots, and two hits in 18:15 of ice time. He has notched four goals and five points in the last four games, and is now tied for second on the team with 17 goals this season.
– Carl Hagelin tallied two assists, four shots, and posted a plus-three rating in 18:45 of ice time. He has registered eight points (five goals, three assists) in the last 10 games, including seven points (four goals, three assists) in the last six contests.
– Benoit Pouliot registered two assists, three shots, and a plus-two rating in 16:44 of ice time. He has now tied his career-high with 17 assists this season.
– Mats Zuccarello recorded his 50th point of the season with an assist, and was credited with two shots and two hits in 18:30 of ice time. He has registered 15 points (two goals, 13 assists) in his last 16 games, including five assists in the last four contests. Zuccarello is now tied for the team lead with 35 assists and 50 points this season.
Alain Vigneault on tonight’s game… “We talked about winning the second and then winning the third period. We obviously didn’t execute the way we wanted to in the first period. That’s a team I know very well, and usually when they have a lead they can keep the lead. We found a way tonight. I thought we were a little bit low tonight, not as high as we usually are emotionally and physically on the ice. It took us a while to get going, but we found a way. I thought our second period was really good, and the third we were down by a goal. We knew there wasn’t going to be a lot of room, there wasn’t. But we found a way to tie it up and get it done in overtime. It says a lot about the group here.”
Henrik Lundqvist on the past week… “It was a roller coaster. It was definitely a special one. The way it started with the ceremony, was just a memory for life. To see my parents walking out there, my family my wife, my kid, it was a very special moment in my career, I must say. The first period, it was a tough test for us in this game, a couple times. But we showed so much character. We sat here a week ago talking about playing really well, but not finding ways to win. For the past seven, eight days, we have done that. Finding different ways to win hockey games – that’s all that matters right now, and it’s huge for us.”
Dan Girardi on tonight’s game… “It wasn’t a great start for us at all. We were a little slow getting to pucks, slow decision making, and I thought we did a great job of getting back and winning that second, winning the third, and getting that huge goal in overtime. We’ve got to make sure we focus on the start of our next game, for sure.”
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