Vrbata Hat-Trick Sinks Rangers on Opening Night
A hat-trick, a stellar performance in net, and momentum from special teams play lead the Phoenix Coyotes to a 4-1 defeat of the New York Rangers on Thursday evening in the season opener for both teams.
Radim Vrbata scored three goals and goaltender Mike Smith was sharp as the Coyotes power-play had a hand in three of their four goals. The Coyotes' first two goals were scored mere seconds after respective man advantages expired. The third was a power play goal by the aforementioned Vrbata.
Dating back to last season, Vrbata now has two consecutive hat-tricks and five for his career.
Marc Staal had the lone goal for the Blueshirts who struggled offensively in their first game under new head coach Alain Vigneault.
The Rangers will play the LA Kings on Monday night as their nine-game road trip continues.