New York Rangers Spoil Derek Stepan's Homecoming, 5-2, Over Coyotes (Highlights)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 26: Michael Grabner #40 and Boo Nieves #24 of the New York Rangers celebrate Grabner's second period goal against the Arizona Coyotes at Madison Square Garden on October 26, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Pavel Buchnevich scored twice as the New York Rangers spoiled Derek Stepan‘s MSG return in the 5-2 over the Arizona Coyotes.

  • New York Rangers 5 (3-6-2, 8 pts)
  • Arizona Coyotes 2 (0-9-1, 1 pt)
  • NFL, Final, Box Score
  • Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

Nobody does it better than the Garden.

When an athlete returns or there’s a ceremony to be had, Madison Square Garden is the best. And although Derek Stepan only played seven seasons in the Big Apple, the New York Rangers organization made sure to let him know just how much he was appreciated.

Other than that moment, this one was all Blueshirts. They took an early 2-0 lead and never relented in the overwhelming 5-2 win.

Arizona had its moments, but New York put together its best defensive effort of the season against, statistically, the worst team in the NHL.

What stood out the most offensively was the newly-assembled Rangers fourth line. Boo Nieves, the kid who was called up from the Hartford Wolf Pack, centered Michael Grabner and Pavel Buchnevich. They combined for four of the Rangers five goals.

Buchnevich came away with two goals. Nieves finished with three assists. Like his younger linemate, Grabner came away with two goals (one of which was the empty-netter). Nieves actually finished as the game’s No. 1 star.

The party started early as a Chris Kreider goal off the assists from Mika Zibanejad and Mats Zuccarello badly exposed their former teammate:

Ondrej Pavelec received the start in favor of Henrik Lundqvist and picked up the win, his first with his new club after stopping 27-of-29 shots. On the other side, young Adin Hill filled in for Antti Raanta and struggled mightily all night long. He could only muster 25 saves.

Anthony Duclair and Clayton Keller (power play) tallied the Coyotes goals in this one. Only Duclair’s worried the crowd as it cut the lead in half (2-1).

There’s no second-guessing the effort from the Blueshirts in this one. At the same time, these are the Coyotes, the very same Coyotes who have yet to win a game this season. The goaltender gift-wrapped a couple goals and allowed the home team every opportunity to run away with this one.

Still, progress was shown and a fourth-line stepped up. On Saturday, the Rangers will look to keep it going against the Canadiens in Montreal.

Robby Sabo is a co-founder, CEO and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor - Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet and Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. SEO: XL Media. Founder: Elite Sports NY - ESNY (Sold in 2020). SEO: XL Media. Email: robby.sabo[at]