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The Lowdown: Panthers vs Coyotes

The Cats and Coyotes battle in Phoenix at Arena.

Thursday, 03.20.2014 / 10:30 AM / Preview
By "Hockey Pat" McGrath  -
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The Lowdown: Panthers vs Coyotes
The Cats and Coyotes battle in Phoenix at Arena.

THE LOWDOWN is a gameday preview produced by “Hockey Pat” McGrath, a lifelong Cats fan who previously wrote for the Florida Panthers themed blog “TheRatTrick”. The contents of THE LOWDOWN and all opinions expressed therein are solely those of Hockey Pat and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Florida Panthers or Sunrise Sports & Entertainment LLC. Having said that, if you find yourself laughing or smiling as you read the LOWDOWN, feel free to thank us. We accept thank you notes, tweets and ticket purchases.

Florida Panthers vs. Phoenix Coyotes

Panthers Coyotes
Record 26-35-8 33-25-11
Points 60 77
Place 7th in Atlantic 4th in Pacific

The Florida Panthers’ Western odyssey continues tonight as the Cats take to the Glendale desert to face the Phoenix Coyotes. The ‘Yotes currently occupy the last wild card spot in the Western Conference with 77 points but they have the Stars, Canucks and Jets all nipping at their tails.

The Cats are coming off an impressive 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks highlighted by a signature performance by Roberto Luongo, who made 52 saves in the victory.

It should be a good one tonight, let’s get to the Lowdown.

RED Hot Cats To Watch

Brandon Pirri: Scorching hot since he was acquired from the Blackhawks earlier this month, Pirri is coming off back-to-back multi-point performances. He was the driving force behind the Panthers’ two goals in 17 seconds outburst against the Sharks on Tuesday and he now has seven points (3-4-7) in his last five games.

Scottie Upshall: The Panthers’ scoring leader fired home the game winner on Tuesday, connecting on a one-timer late in the second period. He now has three goals in his last four games, bringing his season point total to 34 (14-20-34).

Coyotes Players to Watch

#11 Martin Hanzal

The Coyotes’ alternate captain returned to their lineup in Monday’s 4-3 win over the LA Kings. Hanzal recorded an assist in the game, his first since missing seven games with a lower body injury. In case you missed it, this is more or less how his return went:

#14 Jeff Halpern

When I did my 'Coyotes Players to Watch’ before the game on March 11, I selected defensemen Keith Yandle and Oliver Ekman-Larsson. What happened? The duo made heavy contributions on two of the Coyotes’ three goals.

This time I am playing it safe and trying to avoid motivating someone, so I’ll go with Jeff Halpern as the guy to watch. The 37-year-old center has ten points (4-6-10) in 56 games this season, but keep an eye on him….could be a big game.

Desert Dogs

Dingo, Coyote…close enough. I just wanted to throw in this classic Seinfeld clip.

Apparently the Coyotes play at arena….not like I originally thought….

It would be a lot cooler if it was….

You Again?

The Panthers and Coyotes will face off tonight for the second time in the last ten days. Before their matchup last week, the Cats had not played the ‘Yotes for over two years. That’s an awful lot of time together after a long time apart. Kind of like the crazy uncle you had not seen for five years until he pops up one day and says he is moving in with you.

Anyway, the last time these two teams met the Coyotes came away with a 3-1 victory in Sunrise. Pirri scored the only goal for the Cats while Luongo stopped 20 of the 23 shots he saw.

Hockey 101

Word of the Day: Sauce

Definition: Sauce is slang for saucer pass. A saucer pass involves the passer elevating the puck a few inches off the ice so as to avoid pesky opponents’ sticks occupying passing lanes. The saucer pass gets its name because the elevated puck flying through the air has a distinct resemblance to a flying saucer.

Hockey players like to say sauce instead of saucer pass because sauce sounds cooler and being a hockey player is 57% talent and 43% acting cool.

Example: “Whooaaahh man did you see the sauce Pirri put on that pass to Trocheck last night?”

Sauce in Action:

Enjoy the game tonight. Go Panthers!




1 TBL 48 30 14 4 156 127 64
2 NYI 46 31 14 1 151 129 63
3 DET 47 27 11 9 139 119 63
4 MTL 45 29 13 3 123 106 61
5 PIT 46 26 12 8 138 117 60
6 NYR 44 27 13 4 134 106 58
7 WSH 46 24 13 9 137 120 57
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 44 20 14 10 107 122 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 48 19 22 7 130 146 45
13 CBJ 45 20 22 3 113 142 43
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 46 16 25 5 98 120 37
16 BUF 47 14 30 3 89 167 31


N. Bjugstad 44 15 12 1 27
J. Huberdeau 41 8 17 1 25
A. Ekblad 44 6 19 7 25
J. Jokinen 43 4 20 0 24
J. Hayes 36 13 7 1 20
B. Boyes 42 9 11 1 20
S. Bergenheim 33 7 9 4 16
T. Fleischmann 38 5 8 9 13
V. Trocheck 28 4 9 6 13
D. Kulikov 39 1 12 -2 13
R. Luongo 17 10 8 .923 2.32
A. Montoya 3 4 2 .887 3.09 is the official Web site of the Florida Panthers. Florida Panthers and are trademarks of the Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Florida Panthers Hockey Club, Ltd and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.