Rangers hit Coyotes with sixth consecutive loss

Arizona dropped to 5-21-2 after a one-goal loss to New York on Wednesday


James Mackey

The Coyotes welcomed the Metropolitan Division-leading New York Rangers to Gila River Arena on Wednesday.

The Arizona Coyotes entered Wednesday night’s tilt with the red-hot New York Rangers needing a victory to get in the win column for December.

The Coyotes had lost five in a row entering the game at Gila River Arena, and the hosts thought they had the opening goal early in the first period. But Loui Eriksson was denied even after it appeared his shot had trickled through Rangers goaltender Keith Kinkaid and appeared to cross the goal line. Eriksson would eventually get his goal, again on a trickling puck beyong Kinkaid, at 17:46 in the first.

After entering the intermission with a 1-0 deficit, the Rangers bounced back to tie up the score midway through the second period. Mika Zibanejad sent the puck to Chris Kreider, who then fed a trickling puck to Kaapo Kakko to chip past goalie Scott Wedgewood.

Kakko, a former second overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft, notched his fourth goal of the season on the play, and the teams entered the second intermission level at a goal apiece.

The Coyotes began the third on the power play, after Jacob Trouba was penalized for a high stick on Keller. The center would then score the goal that restored Arizona’s lead, striking at 8:47 of the period with assists from Anton Stralman and Nick Schmaltz.

Zibanejad later broke the deficit and tied the game again after ripping a shot past Wedgewood at 14:14 of the third. The Blueshirts were not done — a late power play opportunity after a too many men on the ice penalty saw the visitors get one last chance on the man advantage, and they duly capitalized. Kakko found the scoresheet once again and collected his fifth goal, and Kinkaid’s 29 saves helped the Rangers’ lead hold up in the 3-2 victory.

The Coyotes will hit the road to Anaheim, Vancouver, and Seattle before returning home for a game with the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning two days before the holiday.