NEW YORK, N.Y. – Ryan McDonagh scored off a rebound of Dan Girardi’s shot 1:56 into overtime to complete the New York Rangers’ surprising rally in a 4-3 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday night.
McDonagh put the puck past backup goalie Thomas Greiss, who relieved injured starter Mike Smith in the third period and then gave up the tying and winning goals. Girardi got the Rangers even with 3:28 left in regulation when he tipped in a drive by his defence partner McDonagh.
Brad Richards and Derick Brassard scored in the second period when New York erased a 2-0 deficit Phoenix built in the first.
Henrik Lundqvist made 18 saves to win on a night he was honoured for recently breaking Rangers marks for career victories and shutouts.
The Rangers’ fourth straight win pushed them one point ahead of Philadelphia and into second place in the Metropolitan Division with nine games left. Philadelphia, which has two games in hand on the Rangers, will meet them in New York on Wednesday.
Kyle Chipchura had a rare goal and assist, and defenceman Oilver Ekman-Larsson and Jeff Halpern also scored for the Coyotes, who hold the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
Chipchura, who entered with only two goals and 11 assists in 69 games, helped set up Halpern’s goal and then was credited with the go-ahead tally when Rangers forward Chris Kreider knocked the puck into his own net.
Smith stopped 25 shots while making his 12th consecutive start, but was forced to leave with 7:34 left in regulation after he injured his right leg when Brassard was pushed into him by Coyotes defenceman Derek Morris.
Greiss came on for his first action since Feb. 28 and stopped seven of nine shots.
The Rangers needed two big rallies to keep their winning streak alive.
After being ushered off the ice by a chorus of boos following a poor first, the Rangers got Madison Square Garden rocking in the second, but Phoenix went back in front before the second intermission.
Richards cut the Coyotes’ lead in half at 6:10 when a drive by Carl Hagelin found its way through traffic, hit him, and bounded between Smith’s pads for Richards’ 17th goal and first in 11 games.
The Rangers tied it with 9:07 left off hard work by Brassard.
Brassard bumped with Chipchura in the neutral zone to get the puck into the Phoenix end, and then netted his 17th. Brassard’s pass attempt in front bounced back to him in the right circle, and he sent a rising shot into the top right corner to make it 2-2.
The Rangers were nowhere near the top of their game at the start, and they paid for it.
Just 29 seconds after Rick Nash was sent off for tripping, Ekman-Larsson scored his 13th of the season with a stick-bending wrist shot from the right circle at 4:40. Smith, who stopped 10 shots in the first period, earned his third assist of the season.
Lundqvist kept Phoenix at bay for a bit, but he was hung out to dry by his teammates when Halpern made it 2-0 on the Coyotes’ fifth shot. Chipchura made a backhanded pass from below the goal line in front to a wide-open Halpern for a quick shot past Lundqvist at 8:22 for his fifth goal.
It appeared the Rangers would be no worse than tied going into the third, but Kreider deflected an attempted centring pass by Chipchura from the left-wing boards between Lundqvist’s legs to make it 3-2 with 1:09 left in the second.
Lundqvist angrily swept the puck out of the net as Chipchura celebrated his third goal of the season and first in 57 games, dating to Oct. 29 vs. Los Angeles.
NOTES: Rangers D John Moore missed his second consecutive game because of concussion symptoms. … Coyotes LW Lauri Korpikoski sat out due to an upper-body injury. .. Chipchura has 21 goals and 52 assists in his NHL career.