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Panthers Wrap-Up: Coyotes 2, Panthers 1

Panthers battle until the end but can't come back to defeat the Coyotes.

Friday, 03.21.2014 / 1:20 AM ET / Wrap Up
By Glenn Odebralski  - FloridaPanthers.com
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Panthers Wrap-Up: Coyotes 2, Panthers 1
thu
3/20/2014
1-2
1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 0 0 1 0 1
Coyotes 2 0 0 0 2
FLA - S. Gomez (2)
PHX - PP - R. Vrbata (20), A. Vermette (23)
  
   

PHOENIX —  (NHL.com) - Radim Vrbata and Antoine Vermette scored first-period goals, and Mike Smith made 22 saves to lead the Phoenix Coyotes to a 2-1 win against the Florida Panthers on Thursday.

The Panthers made things interesting when Scott Gomez spoiled Smith's shutout bid with a wrist shot that knuckled into the net with 4:08 left in the third period to cut the Coyotes' lead to 2-1.

FULL RECAP
 
"The guys didn't quit. They kept pushing back and had quite a few scoring chances in the third. We had good opportunities and Smith played well and kept them out of (a tied game)."

- Panthers intirim head coach Peter Horachek.
 
1. Lu vs Mr. Smith: It was a couple of Olympic gold medal winning goalies battling it out in the Arizona desert Thursday night as both Roberto Luongo and  Mike Smith earned gold in Sochi with Canada back in February. In Glendale, the goalies played up to that gold medal winning standard, with each making some huge stops. Coming off a 52-save virtuoso performance in San Jose on Tuesday, Luongo's best save on Thursday night came with the Cats trailing 2-0 late in the second when he reach back to deny Mike Ribeiro. As for Smith, he kept the Panthers at bay when they got their chances, two of the best coming from Vincent Trocheck and Garrett Wilson. Smith’s biggest save came in the third when he flashed the glove to rob Colby Robak.

2. All Over The Ice: Blueliner Dmitry Kulikov had another strong game in all three zones for the Cats. He helped get the Cats on the board in the third period, setting up Scott Gomez to pull the Panthers within one. Number 7 in red finished with one assist, two shots, two hits, two blocked shots and a team-leading 26:31 TOI. Kulikov played almost half of the third period alone.

3. Until The End: Phoenix scored less than three minutes into the game on a power play goal from Radim Vrbata, and then extended the lead with 1:22 remaining in the frame off of Antoine Vermette’s 23rd of the year. The Panthers ramped up the offensive pressure in an effort to bust through Phoenix’s stifling 1-4 “trap” in the third period, and pulled within one as Gomez scored with 4:06 remaining. The Coyotes would ultimately weather the storm and hold on for the victory.
 
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@Red_Tractors: Tough loss for the boys but great game @FlaPanthers #PantherNation #greatgame #2-1

@dsilv_tsd: Gomez with the beautiful snipe. @FlaPanthers #FlaPanthers #sniped

@TurbuLENTZ: @FlaPanthers GOAL-mez! #FlaPanthers GOAL!!!

 
Memorable fan posts from the game.

Marcos Wagner Niederpruem Lavocat: Nice goal Gomez!

Ian La Charite: Luongo is a force to be wreckoned with, yikes. Good game tonight, Panthers. Take the kings down a peg on Saturday!
 

1. Radim Vrbata scored the Coyotes' first goal of the game exactly one minute into their only power play of the night.

4/5. Nick Bjugstad finished with a team high four shots while picking up five hits against the Coyotes.

5. Dropping the gloves against Chris Summers in the second period, forward Joey Crabb picked up his 5th career fighting major.

7. The Panthers and Coyotes each finished with seven shots on goal in the first period.

36. Florida, led by Crabb's team-leading six hits, finished with 36 hits in the game.

 
Mike Smith
Was strong throughout the game and came up with many big saves, especially in the third period with the Panthers looking to get on the board and then tie the game.

23 Shots, 22 Saves, .957 SV%
 
 
The Cats will be going back to California for back-to-back games against Los Angeles and Anaheim over the weekend before heading back home for a three-game homestand against Ottawa (3/25), Carolina (3/27) and Montreal (3/29). The Kings are currently in sixth place in the Western Conference with 84 points (39-25-6). Anze Kopitar leads the way offensively with 58 points (22-36-58) in 70 games while Jonathan Quick owns a 22-15-2 record with 2.10 GAA and .914 save percentage.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

 
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