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'Yotes Notes: Vrbata Scores Twice in Loss to Rangers

Forward Radim Vrbata chipped in two goals for Arizona on Sunday

by Dave Vest @davest4yotes / Coyotes Sr. Director of News Content

Radim Vrbata scored both of Arizona's goals on Sunday in a 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

Vrbata netted his first goal just 33 seconds into the game when he deflected a shot from the point by Connor Murphy.

"We had a good start to the game," Vrbata said. "We would box in and we were able to score. Overall, I don't think it was that bad, but we needed points."

Down 2-1, Vrbata scored his second goal at 16:18 of the second period to notch the 33rd multi-goal game of his career. The tie game was short-lived, however, as New York's Dan Girardi netted the game-winning goal with a shot from the point past goalie Louis Domingue at 1:55 of the third period.

"I don't know if the puck just dropped on (Domingue) or what," Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "You've got a team that played last night. You keep the pressure on them. But they can play a real nice, comfortable game when they're up a goal, just keep flipping things out. In that respect, it did change the game. (Domingue) made some big saves after that, but that's a key save we needed at that time. That's a mistake you can't have at that time."

Video: Dave Tippett discusses Coyotes' 3-2 loss to Rangers

 Vrbata said the Coyotes (1-4-0) are struggling to play a solid 60-minute game.

"We are learning the hard way that every play counts and every mistake we make will cost us, and it's costing us games now," Vrbata said. "It looks good for some part of the game but not good enough. We're learning it's tough to win in this league."

Vrbata now leads Arizona wiht three goals in five games after scoring just 13 last season with Vancouver.

"It's nice to see those pucks go in for myself and feel like you're helping the team, especially after last season," Vrbata said. "But I would trade it for two points for the team."

Video: Radim Vrbata discusses Coyotes' 3-2 loss to Rangers

• Tippett is seeing progress with his young players in the lineup but is seeking better results.

"We've got to find a way to be better defensively," Tippett said. "… For the most part, there were some real good parts to our game, but good parts to your game doesn't get you a win. We need to find ways to win."

With the loss, the Coyotes dropped to 0-4-0 on a six-game trip that continues Tuesday at New Jersey and ends Thursday at Philadelphia. 

"We knew this was going to be a tough trip," Tippett said. "We were going to find out about our team. Every game we find out a little more. There's some areas that are improving. There's some areas that still need lots of work. We've got lots of players that are getting good experience right now. All that being said, wins are what you come into this league for and you've got to have wins."

• Murphy said the losing streak is frustrating but he recognizes the season has just begun.

"You always expect to win.," Murphy said. "That was the thing with our group. During training camp, we wanted that mind-set this year to be every game we expect to win. You're playing to make the playoffs, to be a top team in the league, and we haven't showed that at all. That's something in a long season that we can still get there but like we've all been talking about, it's going to take work.

• Tippett told reporters that goalie Mike Smith is now regarded as "week-to-week," but that the lower-body injury he suffered last week is not severe.

"He's back home and he's not going to join us for the rest of this trip," Tippett said. "He's in good spirits back home and we'll see where he's at next week."

• Forward Jamie McGinn has joined the team in the middle of its six-game trip.

"We'll get him another good practice (on Monday), and he's possibly an option for New Jersey," Tippett said. "He's disappointed. New guys want to get in there and show what they can do early, so he's disappointed, but his injury is just one that wouldn't allow him to play the game he needs to play. He's been off for a couple weeks but he's actually had some good skates at home and says he's feeling up to speed. The only thing he hasn't had is any physical contact so that's what we need to get him into a little bit (on Monday)."

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