Arizona Coyotes: Four-game skid ended with thrilling overtime win
The gritty Arizona Coyotes fought back from a three-goal deficit to beat the NY Rangers. | Photo: Catalina Fragoso USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Coyotes: Four-game skid ended with thrilling overtime win

The wounded Arizona Coyotes limped into MSG to play the New York Rangers and ended their four-game losing streak with a comeback win.

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William Grigsby

The wounded and weary Arizona Coyotes fell behind 3-1 to the New York Rangers and it appeared they were headed to their fourth straight loss.

Then, the trainer for the Coyotes must have used some smelling salts to wake up his team because they went on a methodically focused attack to get themselves back into the hockey game.

Here's how it happened

After allowing the Rangers, not one, not two, but THREE power play goals to sorta put a crunch into the Coyotes' NHL leading penalty kill... Jordan Oesterle started the comeback with a power play goal of his own.

The Coyotes still lead the league with a stellar 88.2 percent success ratio killing penalties. Plus, the Coyotes managed to avoid disaster by killing off a 5-on-3 shorthanded situation when both Richard Panik and Oesterle were sent to the box at the same 7:08 point of the second frame.

The goal doesn't happen without the excellent one-timer pass from Clayton Keller and the strategic screen in front of the New York net by Nick Cousins

The middle frame ended with the Yotes trailing 3-1. But, then the comeback was in order in the final period as the Coyotes decided this would not be their fourth loss in a row.

Third period production

The Coyotes waited until the 13:11 mark to mount their comeback, and it was Josh Archibald who led the way with his third goal of the season cutting the Rangers' lead in half.

The play displayed Derek Stepan's passing ability as he fed Archibald in the crease with a perfect pass. Archibald went five-hole to beat a stunned Henrik Lundqvist.

Suddenly it was a 3-2 hockey game and the Coyotes were smelling blood.

It took until the 16:59 tick on the clock before Oliver Ekman-Larsson tallied his third goal of the campaign and his first since November 8, 2018, against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Tie game 3-3.

Overtime drama on Broadway

Any team who fights and scratches their way back into a hockey game (especially on the road) feels like they should win the game. It didn't appear that was going to happen as the five-minute extra period saw some drama with Lundqvist coming up big against Keller on a clean breakaway.

It was Derek Stepan who ended it all against his former team whom he toiled with for 515 NHL games.

A Hollywood scriptwriter couldn't have written the ending up any better as Stepan broke in on the right side with Nick Schmaltz. Stepan fired a wicked wrist shot bar-down which tickled the twine and won an important game for the Arizona club.

The win helps Arizona's chances of remaining in a wild-card playoff spot with their placement just four spots out of the playoff picture while maintaining a games-in-hand advantage against the Vancouver Canucks (4), Dallas Stars (2), and Minnesota Wild (1).

To draw a contrast to last season after 31 games, the Coyotes held a dismal 7-19-5 record good for just 19 points. 

Adin Hill came up big

The young goalie phenom has performed very well since filling in for the numerous injuries in net for the Coyotes and he stood tall for a big save while his team was down two men.

There's certainly not much more you can expect from a rookie netminder than what Hill has shown this season. He has a 5-2 record with a 1.81 goals against average and an outstanding .932 save percentage.

The injury to starter Antti Raanta has opened the door for Hill to get some valuable NHL experience and so far he has not disappointed.

On to Carolina to close out the road trip

The victorious Coyotes must gather their enthusiasm as they face the Carolina Hurricanes in a matinee affair on Sunday. The Hurricanes has gathered 31 points in their 31 games and the Coyotes have managed 30 points making it an evenly matched contest.

The Coyotes need a win to get back to the .500 win club while the Hurricanes want to get above that break-even mark with a win.

The Hurricanes are just 3-5-2 in their last ten games while the Desert Dogs are 5-5 and need a win to come back home with an even 2-2 record on this tough eastern road trip.

Did the Arizona Coyotes show some comeback ability in this overtime victory, or did the New York Rangers not finish well in a game they led by two goals halfway through the game? Let us know in the comments section below.

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