If New York Rangers coach David Quinn has one message for his team heading into Sunday’s game at Arizona, it’s this: Stay out of the penalty box.
The Rangers gave up 10 power-play opportunities to the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night in a 6-1 defeat despite a season-high 41 saves from rookie goaltender Alexandar Georgiev, who was giving Henrik Lundqvist a night off.
“You have zero chance to win a hockey game in that way,” Quinn said. “It wasn’t our night from the get-go. We created a lot of our own problems with the penalties.”
Colorado, which had lost six games in a row, had 15:23 of man-advantage time and scored three power-play goals.
“When we kill, we like to be aggressive, and it’s taxing when you’re going to the box that much,” Rangers forward Chris Kreider told NHL.com. “It makes it difficult on the whole group to really come back five-on-five and sustain pressure. I thought guys worked hard five-on-five and we did have some good looks, but ultimately we took too many penalties, myself included.”
Ryan Strome scored the lone goal for the Rangers, extending his points streak to three games.
New York has lost its past two games by five goals, also suffering a 7-2 defeat at home Wednesday against Pittsburgh. The Rangers will wrap up a three-game trip Tuesday in Las Vegas.
The power play also factored heavily into the Coyotes’ latest game. They went 0 for 5 with the man advantage Friday, including a lengthy five-on-three edge, in a 3-2 shootout loss to visiting New Jersey.
The injury-depleted Coyotes have lost 11 of their past 15 games.
Center Nick Schmaltz, who has missed the past two games with a lower-body injury, was the latest Coyotes player to go on injured reserve. Schmaltz had 14 points in his first 17 games with the Coyotes after they acquired him in a trade with Chicago on Nov. 25.
“When we were healthy, we were playing well,” said Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet, who is one victory shy of 100 in his career. “Obviously this rash of injuries (arrives) and then all of a sudden people get played in different positions and stuff like that. … Five or six regulars being out, I hate to keep saying it, but you could tell (Friday). We worked hard. You can tell the skill level wasn’t there sometimes, so we’re just grinding away.”
The Coyotes are 7-12-2 at home, tied for the fewest victories in the league on their own ice.
“If we don’t win in this building, we don’t have a hope to get into the playoffs. We’ve got to figure it out,” Coyotes forward Brad Richardson told NHL.com. “Every good team that gets into the playoffs wins at home, so we need to figure it out. That’s going to be a big key if we want to hang around this playoff race.”