Arizona Coyotes center Derek Stepan (21) scored the game-winner against the New York Rangers on Friday in New York City. Photo by Alex Edelman/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 15 (UPI) -- Derek Stepan beat his former team -- the New York Rangers -- with an overtime winner off of the crossbar for the Arizona Coyotes.
The Coyotes rallied from a 3-0 deficit to pull off the dramatic 4-3 victory on Friday at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Arizona's victory snapped a nine-game losing streak to New York.
"I'd be lying to you if I told you that didn't feel good," Stepan told reporters.
Stepan's game-winner was a thing of beauty. The ninth-year center -- who played seven seasons with the Rangers -- broke free 4:28 into the extra frame.
The Coyotes took off on a breakaway after foiling a Rangers possession. Center Nick Schmaltz tapped the puck off to Stepan between the blue lines. Stepan skated into enemy territory and eyed the goal before firing a wrist shot. The laser went over Rangers net-minder Henrik Lundqvist and hit the bottom of the crossbar, falling into the net and lighting the lamp one final time.
Pavel Buchnevich and Kevin Hayes began the scoring for the Rangers in the first frame before Mika Zibanejad added his 10th score of the season in the second period.
Then the Coyotes mounted their comeback. Jordan Oesterle scored his second goal of the season in the second period to cut the deficit to 3-1.
Josh Archibald cut the Rangers' lead to one goal with a score 13:11 into the final frame. Oliver Ekman-Larsson tied it up at 3-3 with a score with 3:01 remaining, setting the stage for Stepan's curtain call.
"It's tough to accept this one," Lundqvist said. "It was a game that was right there for us. Kind of a lucky shot for them to tie it. Our power play was really good. We had a lot of opportunities to put this game away and we didn't. They came back. In overtime we had chances to put it away and we didn't. That was a tough one."
The Rangers host the Vegas Golden Knights at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday at Madison Square Garden. The Coyotes face the Carolina Hurricanes at 1 p.m. on Sunday at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C.