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Trocheck and Kreider score as Rangers top Coyotes 2-1 to win home opener behind Shesterkin

New York Rangers' center Vincent Trocheck, front left, shoots toward the goal during an NHL hockey game against the Arizona Coyotes, Monday, Oct. 16, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

New York Rangers’ center Vincent Trocheck, front left, shoots toward the goal during an NHL hockey game against the Arizona Coyotes, Monday, Oct. 16, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

BY ALLAN KREDA contributing

NEW YORK (AP) — Vincent Trocheck scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period and Igor Shesterkin stopped a penalty shot with under five minutes remaining as the New York Rangers beat the Arizona Coyotes 2-1 on Monday night to win their home opener.

Chris Kreider also scored for the Rangers, who won for the second time in three games this season.

Trocheck’s deflection at 8:26 on the power play snapped a 1-all tie and came after Coyotes goalie Connor Ingram made a sensational pad save on Mika Zibanejad’s shot. Adam Fox and Artemi Panarin assisted on Trocheck’s first goal of the season.

“The fans were phenomenal tonight. It was a lot of fun,’’ Trocheck said. ”With our offensive skill, we know we’re going to score a lot of goals.”

OTHER NEWS

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Shesterkin finished with 26 saves. He denied Jason Zucker on a penalty shot at 15:12 of the third to preserve the one-goal lead.

“We played our game and we won,″ said Shesterkin, who is 42-15-7 at home since the start of the 2021-22 season and 4 for 4 stopping penalty shots in his career.

Clayton Keller scored for Arizona.

The Coyotes had a 5-on-3 advantage for two minutes after Ryan Lindgren and Alexei Lafreniere were both penalized at 18:41 of the second, but the Rangers were able to hold off Arizona.

“It was a hard-fought game, and sometimes that’s the way it goes,’’ Coyotes defenseman Sean Durzi said. ”Us believing we can still get a point until the end shows a lot about this group.”

Arizona was trying to start 2-0-0 for the first time since 2015-16.

“We were resilient and we stayed composed,’’ Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said. “But you’re on the road with a full 5-on-3 and a penalty shot and you don’t convert, it’s costly.”

Ingram made 26 saves for the Coyotes, who open the season with a four-game trip that continues Tuesday against the New York Islanders.

The Rangers have at least one point in 16 of their last 17 games against the Coyotes. They are 14-1-2 versus Arizona since March 24, 2014, and 12-0-2 at home against the Coyotes since the 2008-09 season.

Kreider opened the scoring at 14:11 of the first with his fourth goal in three games. Zibanejad and Kappo Kakko assisted. Kreider leads the Rangers with five points.

“That was a hard-fought win,″ coach Peter Laviolette said. “We were pretty gutsy out there.”

Keller tied the score on a power play at the five-minute mark of the second with assists to rookie Logan Cooley and Nick Schmaltz. The 19-year-old Cooley has three assists in two games.

Keller ripped a shot that went in off Shesterkin’s glove. The goal was the first this season for Keller, who had two assists in Arizona’s 4-3 shootout win at New Jersey last Friday. Keller has points in all six career games he’s played at Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers split their first two games on the road, winning 5-1 at Buffalo and losing 5-3 at Columbus.

New York changed coaches after finishing with 107 points last season but then losing to the Devils in seven games in the first round of the playoffs. They replaced Gerard Gallant with Laviolette.

Zibanejad, who led the team with 39 goals, conceded it takes time and practice to implement and execute fresh offensive systems early in the new season.

”We have things to work on like every team does,’’ he said. “The things we want to be good at are kind of clicking right now.”

MILESTONES

Kreider needs three goals to tie Andy Bathgate at 272 for fourth place on the Rangers’ career list. The top three are Rod Gilbert (406), Jean Ratelle (336) and Adam Graves (280).

NOTES: The Rangers are 41-39-14-3 in home openers and 3-1-1 in their last five at Madison Square Garden. … New York defensemen have eight points in three games. … Coyotes defenseman Matt Dumba played his 600th NHL game. … The teams meet again March 30 in Arizona. … The Coyotes scratched defenseman Josh Brown and forward Michael Carcone. … The Rangers scratched forward Jimmy Vesey and defenseman Zac Jones.

UP NEXT

Coyotes: At the New York Islanders on Tuesday.

Rangers: Host the Nashville Predators on Thursday.