Rangers have no time to perseverate over losses, face lowly Coyotes

new york rangers
Dec 14, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper (35) and defenseman Cale Makar (8) and defenseman Samuel Girard (49) and New York Rangers center Filip Chytil (72) and wing Julien Gauthier (15) await the shot of defenseman Patrik Nemeth (12) in the second period at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

After a month of impressive performances, the New York Rangers are in a slight rut.

Coming off consecutive regulation losses for the first time this season, the Rangers hope to avoid a third straight defeat Wednesday night when they visit the league-worst Arizona Coyotes.

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No time to lament, back at it in Arizona

New York has lost consecutive games for the third time this season. The Rangers dropped their first two games of the season when they fell in regulation to Washington and in overtime to Dallas and then dropped three straight games when they lost in overtime at Vancouver and Edmonton before getting blown out in Calgary Nov. 2-6.

“I thought we played a good hard game,” Gerard Gallant said. “We played against a real good hockey team that plays really fast. We made a couple of mistakes, but overall we played a good game.”

New York followed up its three-game skid by winning 11 of 12 but since then has lost three of four. After a 7-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Dec. 8, the Rangers held on for a 2-1 win in Buffalo on Friday before dropping a 1-0 decision to the Nashville Predators on Sunday.

On Tuesday, the Rangers saw a four-game road winning streak end with a 4-2 loss at Colorado when they trailed by two goals after the opening period and allowed six power plays. Julien Gauthier and Ryan Strome scored as the Rangers mustered 28 shots and had fewer than three goals in a third straight game for the first time all season.

“I thought we played for 60 minutes,” Strome said. “I thought we competed. There were times in the game where you probably could have folded it in, and I thought the PK (penalty-killing) did a good job of keeping us in the game at times. We fought back.”

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Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

A loss to Arizona would be unacceptable

Arizona’s 12 points are the fewest in the NHL, and the Coyotes have scored a league-low 48 goals while getting outscored by 53 goals for the worst goal differential in the NHL.

The Coyotes have been idle since Saturday when their losing streak reached five games with a 5-3 loss to the visiting Philadelphia Flyers. The Coyotes are on their second five-game skid of the season and are getting outscored 24-8 since a 1-0 win at Winnipeg on Nov. 29.

On Saturday, the Coyotes tied the game twice before allowing three straight goals and took their fifth straight home loss as Jay Beagle, Nick Schmaltz and Lawson Crouse scored.

“It seems like when they get one (goal), they get another right after,” Crouse said. “I think that’s something we need to tighten up on.”

Arizona played Saturday without defenseman Jakob Chychrun (upper body) and Ryan Dzingel (lower body). Both players are expected to miss Wednesday’s game and could be joined on the sidelines by Beagle, who left Saturday’s game with a lower body injury.

Arizona has won the past three meetings against the Rangers. The teams are meeting for the first time since Arizona’s 3-2 overtime home win on Oct. 22, 2019.

If we’re being honest, a loss to the Coyotes would be unacceptable.

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–Field Level Media

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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