Richards Nets Winner In Final Second
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Brad Richards scored the winning goal with 0.1 seconds left as the New York Rangers beat the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 on Saturday night.
Richards’ backhanded shot from the left circle eluded goalie Mike Smith as time ran out. The game appeared to be headed to overtime, but a video replay revealed that the puck crossed the goal line in just enough time.
The Rangers rallied from a 2-1 deficit and snapped a two-game losing streak. The Coyotes have lost four of five. Martin Gaborik’s second goal of the game tied it 2-2 just over two minutes into the third period. Gaborik took advantage of Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle’s giveaway in front of the net.
Cal O’Reilly scored his first goal on the power play to give Phoenix a 2-1 lead with 51 second left in the second period. Lauri Korpikoski made it 1-1 when he got Phoenix even with 9 seconds left in the first.
After scoring a total of one goal in their previous two losses, the Rangers came out strong with solid forechecking and a clear territorial edge. The Rangers converted their energy into a power-play goal that made it 1-0.
Defenseman Michael Del Zotto split defensemen Adrian Aucoin and Oliver Ekman-Larsson with a perfect pass onto the stick to Gaborik, who broke in alone and ripped a shot past Smith at 8:34 for his 16th of the season.
Though clearly outplayed in the first, the Coyotes tied it 1-1 at the end of the period. Boyd Gordon beat Erik Christensen on a faceoff to the right of Rangers goalie Martin Biron and drew the puck back to Korpikoski, who scored his eighth of the season and second short-handed goal.
O’Reilly made it 2-1 with less than one minute left in the second period. It was his first goal for the Coyotes since he was traded to Phoenix on Oct. 28.
The goal was just the 12th on the power play for Phoenix. Only St. Louis has scored fewer goals with the man advantage.
NOTES: Korpikoski’s short-handed goal was the Coyotes’ third this season. . Gaborik’s fifth power play goal tied him with captain Ryan Callahan for the team lead. . Former Coyotes forward Wojtek Wolski missed his 19th straight game for the Rangers because of a groin injury sustained Nov. 3. … C Mike Rupp returned to the New York lineup following a knee injury.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.