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22nd of January 2018

Sport



Henrik Lundqvist Has the Last Word as the Rangers Win in a Shootout

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GLENDALE, Ariz. — Henrik Lundqvist had taken his team to the shootout, but the veteran goalie needed a moment to collect his thoughts as he stared down his former teammate Derek Stepan with the game and an additional point on the line.

Lundqvist got the job done one final time, stopping Stepan on the final attempt of the shootout.

Lundqvist stopped 37 shots through overtime and all three he faced in the tiebreaker, Mika Zibanejad scored in the shootout and the Rangers beat the Arizona Coyotes 2-1 Saturday night.

Lundqvist’s save on Stepan, a teammate for seven seasons until he was traded to Arizona last June, sealed the Rangers’ third win in five games, and seventh point in the last four.

“It’s a mind game almost when you face Derek there at the end,” Lundqvist said. “I don’t want to start overthinking it. But it was fun.”

Stepan smiled a little when reliving the moment with his ex-teammate.

“He’s the king for a reason. He backbones that team really nicely and he was excellent,” Stepan said. “I thought it was actually going to squeak by him but somehow he got a pad on it.”

Brady Skjei took a slashing penalty on Arizona’s Clayton Keller at 1 minute 29 seconds of overtime, setting up a Coyotes power play. However, Arizona couldn’t take advantage.

Jimmy Vesey scored the tying goal in the second period for the Rangers, who are 6-2-2 in their last 10 games and went to overtime for the fifth time in seven games.

Anthony Duclair scored midway through the first for his second goal in two games for the Coyotes, who have earned at least a point in four of seven games. Antti Raanta, who came over in the trade with Stepan, finished with 24 saves in his first time facing his former team.

Duclair did just about everything he could to set up his goal. A nudge he delivered to the Rangers’ Kevin Shattenkirk led to a penalty on the defenseman for delay of game when he dislodged the goal from its mooring.

Duclair scored seven seconds later, at 10:50 of the first. Duclair helped his teammate Christian Dvorak dig out the puck on a face-off, then was in position on the flank as Dvorak delivered a backhand pass to Stepan for a shot. Stepan’s try came out to Duclair, who put the puck away for Arizona’s fifth power-play goal in four games.

“Could be our best period of the year,” Coyotes Coach Rick Tocchet said. “We should have had three or four goals.”

Vesey tied it at 5:11 of the second as he stole the puck from the Coyotes’ Oliver Ekman-Larsson and put a shot past Raanta from the side for his ninth of the season.

“He was a force. He carried the puck with speed. He’s tough to stop when he’s got a lot of momentum like that,” the Rangers’ J.T. Miller said of Vesey.

Lundqvist kept the Coyotes from regaining the lead when he got a glove on a hard shot from Duclair at 10:05.

Raanta was also solid. He sent away a screaming shot from Marc Staal with 3 1/2 minutes left in the second, and went spread-eagle for another stop with 5:44 to go in the third.

The Rangers got close to taking the lead early in the third amid a flurry of activity in front of the net with Raanta out, but the puck bounced away and was cleared. The Coyotes had two shots in succession on Lundqvist a few minutes later, but he stopped Duclair’s try and the rebound by Brad Richardson.

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