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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 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
5 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
6 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
7 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
12 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
15 BUF 55 21 28 6 125 151 48
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 51 17 21 14 38
J. Jokinen 54 11 27 12 38
J. Huberdeau 54 10 28 12 38
V. Trocheck 54 17 18 3 35
A. Barkov 43 16 19 13 35
R. Smith 54 18 16 12 34
B. Pirri 50 11 13 -4 24
A. Ekblad 50 10 13 20 23
B. Campbell 54 5 17 20 22
N. Bjugstad 39 9 10 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 24 13 5 .928 2.17
A. Montoya 8 3 1 .929 2.01

 
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