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game recap

Buchnevich, Grabner help Rangers send Coyotes to 10th straight loss

Each scores two goals, Nieves gets first three NHL points for New York

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

NEW YORK -- The New York Rangers' fourth line contributed four goals, two each from Pavel Buchnevich and Michael Grabner, in a 5-2 win against the Arizona Coyotes at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.

Rookie Boo Nieves, recalled Tuesday to center the fourth line, had three assists, his first three NHL points, in his season debut, which was also his second career NHL game. He played in one game last season.

"I think we just meshed really well," Nieves said of his line. "Grabner is a really fast player like me so it's easy to keep up with him, and a guy like Buchnevich can put the puck just everywhere. They made my transition here really easy."


[WATCH: All Coyotes vs. Rangers highlights]


The Rangers (3-6-2) used a lineup of 11 forwards and seven defensemen in their past two games, leaving Buchnevich and Grabner with a rotating center on the fourth line. 

However, coach Alain Vigneault said he wanted to get back to a four-line rotation because he felt it would enable the Rangers to play with more pace and energy. He wanted to get away from the mixing and matching he had to do with 11 forwards.

"I think that's what Boo's line helped us do by playing well and being efficient on the ice," Vigneault said.

Chris Kreider also scored, Buchnevich had an assist for his third career NHL three-point game, and Ondrej Pavelec made 27 saves. The Rangers went 2-2-2 on their season-long six-game homestand.

The Coyotes (0-9-1) remained the only winless team in the NHL and continued their worst start in history.

Video: ARI@NYR: Kreider nets Zuccarello's gorgeous pass

Adin Hill made 25 saves and Anthony Duclair and Clayton Keller each scored.

"There's a lot of things we need to fix," Duclair said. "I mean, it's just frustrating right now."

Coyotes center Derek Stepan played his first game at the Garden since being traded by the Rangers to Arizona on June 23. Stepan played 515 games during seven seasons for the Rangers (2010-17).

"It was probably one of the hardest things I have had to do in my career playing in this game," Stepan said. "I thought it took me a period and a half to get going. Mentally, I wasn't sharp. It was hard to stay focused. I'm glad it's over with and I can move on now."

Video: ARI@NYR: Rangers honor Stepan's career as a Blueshirt

Kreider gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead at 8:01 of the first period by finishing off a no-look, backhanded pass from Mats Zuccarello with a one-timer from the slot.

Buchnevich made it 2-0 at 15:57 and Pavelec kept it that way going into the first intermission by stopping Coyotes forward Max Domi on a breakaway at 19:28.

Duclair cut the Rangers' lead to 2-1 at 5:13 of the second period, but a turnover by the Coyotes on the ensuing shift led to a goal by Grabner and a 3-1 lead 46 seconds later.

"You can't fall back after you score," Duclair said. "You have to keep going out there. You've got the momentum and they take it right back. It's just tough."

Another Coyotes turnover created the chance for Buchnevich to make it 4-1 at 13:56. Nieves intercepted Hill's pass out of the high slot. It was Buchnevich's first career multigoal game.

Keller scored a power-play goal at 3:52 of the third period. Grabner scored an empty-net goal at 19:24.

Video: ARI@NYR: Buchnevich sneaks a wrist shot past Hill


Goal of the game

Nieves stole Hill's soft pass and got Buchnevich the puck for a redirect attempt. His shot went wide left and hit off the end boards, but the puck bounced back in front of the right post and Buchnevich put it in.

Video: ARI@NYR: Buchnevich tucks home fortunate goal


Save of the game

Pavelec got enough of his glove on Domi's shot from the left circle at 12:35 of the third period to deny the Arizona forward a goal that would have brought the Coyotes within 4-3.


Highlight of the game

Nieves took the puck away from Coyotes forward Brad Richardson in the neutral zone and, while fighting off Richardson, shoved a one-handed pass across the slot to Grabner, who opened up, made a backhand-to-forehand move and lifted the puck enough to get it off the ice but still under Hill's blocker.

Video: ARI@NYR: Grabner finds the net with flashy wrist shot


They said it

"This was a challenging game in the sense that you've got to think that they might be due to win and we need the points. I thought we came out well, we played real strong in the first period and responded well in the second." -- Rangers coach Alain Vigneault


"You can't give them freebies. It's hard because you're chasing the game. Now we have to get away from our system and chase sticks because we're down." -- Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet


Need to know

Rangers forward Rick Nash played in his 1,000th NHL game. The Rangers announced they will honor Nash's milestone during a ceremony prior to their game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Nash's former team, on Nov. 6. … Stepan received a standing ovation after a video tribute was played on the scoreboard honoring his seven seasons with the Rangers. He offered a stick wave and several glove taps to his heart as a way to thank the fans.

Video: ARI@NYR: Rangers reflect on Nash's 1,000th NHL game


What's next

Coyotes: At the New Jersey Devils on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; MSG+, FS-A+, NHL.TV)

Rangers: At the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN1, CITY, TVA Sports, MSG, NHL.TV)


Video: Grabner, Buchnevich power Rangers to 5-2 victory

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