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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.

Derick Brassard, New York Rangers
Derick Brassard of the New York Rangers skates with the puck at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Arizona. (Christian Petersen, Getty Images)

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.

 

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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