Girardi scores early in 3rd to lift Rangers over Coyotes
NEW YORK (AP) Dan Girardi scored 1:55 into the third period and the New York Rangers beat the Arizona Coyotes 3-2 on Sunday night.
Josh Jooris and J.T. Miller also scored for New York, which has won consecutive games to improve to 4-2-0. Henrik Lundqvist made 27 stops.
Radim Vrbata had both of Arizona's goals, and Louis Domingue made 23 saves. The Coyotes have lost their first four games on a six-game trip since beating Philadelphia in overtime at home to start the season.
Girardi put the Rangers ahead with a slap shot from the right point. The veteran was paired with rookie Brady Skjei in his first game after missing New York's previous three with a strained groin, and Skjei assisted on the goal.
Vrbata opened the scoring 33 seconds in by deflecting Connor Murphy's shot from the right point past Lundqvist.
Jooris got his first goal with the Rangers with 7:47 left in the first. He jammed a puck under Domingue while being knocked to the ice by Lawson Crouse.
New York took its first lead 5:45 into the second when Miller scored his second of the season. With the Rangers on a power play, Miller cut to the net and deflected Ryan McDonagh's slap shot past Domingue for a 2-1 lead.
Vrbata made it 2-2 with 3:42 left in the second.
NOTES: Prior to the game, New York coach Alain Vigneault announced Girardi would replace D Adam Clendening in the lineup. Vigneault also said LW Chris Kreider reported to the team with ''neck spasms'' and would miss the game. Oscar Lindberg dressed in place of Kreider, and skated on the fourth line with Jooris and Brandon Pirri. Lindberg missed the entire preseason and the first five games of the regular season while he recuperated from offseason hip surgery. ... Vigneault also scratched D Dylan McIlrath. ... Arizona scratched D Kevin Connauton, D Jamie McBain and C Dylan Strome. ... The teams will meet once more in the regular season, Dec. 29 in Glendale, Arizona. ... The Rangers hosted Hockey Fights Cancer Night, a league-wide effort by the NHL and NHLPA. The Rangers wore lavender jerseys during warmups, which will be auctioned off along with players' sticks.
COYOTES: Play at New Jersey on Tuesday night.
RANGERS: Host the Bruins on Wednesday night.