Rangers Drop Opener to Coyotes, 4-1
Radim Vrbata scored three goals, Mike Smith stopped 23 shots, and the Phoenix Coyotes opened their first season with an owner in four years by routing the New York Rangers 4-1 on Thursday night.
With NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and the club’s new owners in attendance, the Coyotes turned a tight game into a one-sided contest behind Vrbata’s second straight hat trick — dating to last season — and fifth of his career.
Kyle Chipchura also scored, Martin Hanzal had two assists, and Smith made some tough saves on a pair of early penalty kills, including one from his stomach on a shot by Benoit Pouliot.
Marc Staal scored a power-play goal for the short-handed Rangers in their first game under new coach Alain Vigneault.
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