BY: DAVID KOLB
NEW YORK RANGERS (24-12-1) @ ARIZONA COYOTES (11-19-5)
LOOKING TO REVERSE COURSE
Tonight, the Rangers head West to face off against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena where they wrap up their season series. Earlier this season, the Blueshirts defeated Arizona 3-2 on Oct. 23 at The Garden thanks to a third-period goal by defenseman Dan Girardi. New York enters this short two-game road trip after winning four of their last six games, including their 4-3 win over the Ottawa Senators Tuesday, while the Coyotes take the ice looking to end their five-game skid.
STEPP-ING UP AGAIN
Derek Stepan scored twice on Tuesday — once fighting through a forecheck, and another four seconds into a power play — extending his scoring streak to four games. He now has seven points (four goals, three assists) in that span. Stepan has recorded 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in the last 13 games and now has nine goals and 19 assists for 28 points on the season.
HOLDEN HIS OWN
Nick Holden has truly elevated his game. With two goals Tuesday against the Ottawa Senators, Holden now has four points in the past five games. The first-year Blueshirt backliner is this season’s best surprise on Broadway. Through 37 games he’s notched six goals and 12 assists for 18 points, all the while a sensational plus-14.
Former Rangers’ forward Anthony Duclair lit-the-lamp to open the scoring for the Coyotes on Tuesday against the Dallas Stars. Despite the goal, Duclair is struggling in a big way this season and has only produced two goals with four assists for six points in 32 games.
Captain Ryan McDonagh set a single-game career-high with three assists against Ottawa Tuesday. He now leads the Rangers with 21 assists and leads all Ranger defensemen in assists and points (23). “Mac” is the first Rangers defenseman to record at least 21 assists in the first 37 games of a season since Tom Poti in 2002-03 season.