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About Last Night: Coyotes 2, Panthers 1

Gomez scores and Luongo turns aside 20 shots but the Cats fall in the desert.

Friday, 03.21.2014 / 10:15 AM ET / News
By "Hockey Pat" McGrath  - FloridaPanthers.com
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About Last Night: Coyotes 2, Panthers 1
Gomez scores and Luongo turns aside 20 shots but the Cats fall in the desert.

ABOUT LAST NIGHT is the morning-after recap of last night’s Florida Panthers game produced by “Hockey Pat” McGrath, a lifelong Cats fan who previously wrote for the Florida Panthers themed blog “TheRatTrick”. It is a followup to Hockey Pat’s hilariously informative gameday article: THE LOWDOWN.

The contents of ABOUT LAST NIGHT 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 ABOUT LAST NIGHT, feel free to thank us. We accept thank you notes, tweets and ticket purchases.

COYOTES 2, PANTHERS 1

The Florida Panthers were tamed in the desert last night as the Cats fell to the Coyotes 2-1 in Glendale. The Panthers had a lot of chances but were thwarted by the ‘Yotes’ stifling defense and the strong play of goaltender Mike Smith.

In case you were too busy making a bonfire out of your failed March Madness brackets, here is what you may have missed from last night.

One-Goal Away, No Points Today

The Cats have been involved in over 30 one-goal games this year, and more often than not have come out on the losing side. We discussed this early in the week. While it isn’t any fun, and last night’s 2-1 defeat was no exception, there are significant positive takeaways from close games like this. Put simply, when you outshoot your opponent, have the puck possession battle tilted in your favor and come out on the wrong side, you have much to build on. Last night’s game was a perfect example, as the Cats got beat off a special teams goal, an “interesting” second Coyotes goal, and had numerous high quality scoring chances that didn’t translate to the goal sheet. In due time.

Czech Yourself

When the Coyotes brought in Martin Erat from the Washington Capitals at the trade deadline, they did so with the intention of putting together a line made up entirely of Czech Republic natives. Last night was the first time the dream became a reality as the trio of Martin Hanzal, Erat and Radim Vrbata held down first line duties for Phoenix.

The line had a productive night as Hanzal recorded an assist on Vrbata’s first period power-play goal. The assist was one of the more painful helpers Hanzal has recorded, as his part in the play involved getting hit with a shot in front of the net, setting up Vrbata for an easy finish.

Submitted Without Comment

The Coyotes’ second goal was “interesting”.

Let’s just move on.

Getting Crabby

Joey Crabb has been getting some top six minutes, playing on a line with Tomas Fleischmann and Vincent Trocheck. Crabb was all over the ice last night as he led the team in hits with six. One of those hits resulted in this scrap with Chris Summers:

What Does Robak Have to Do For His 1st NHL Goal???

This flashy glove snag by Mike Smith comes just two games after that ridiculous kick save on Robak on Sunday against the Canucks:

Did Scott Gomez Score Last Night? YES!

In the third period, up by two goals, the Coyotes were content to just sit back and defend, stacking four guys in the neutral zone and sending in a one-man forecheck. The ultra-defensive approach may be strategically sound but it makes for a bit of a stylistically dull game.

Fortunately, Scott Gomez managed to find a soft spot in that defense to rip a spot past Mike Smith, forcing Phoenix the Coyotes out of their listlessness.

The goal was Gomez’s second of the season and first since opening night. Take a look below and check out how Gomez locates a shooting lane while surrounded by all five Coyotes:

Up Next

There won’t be much time for California dreaming this weekend as the Cats have a tough back-to-back in Los Angeles and Anaheim on Saturday and Sunday. Until then don’t get too worked up over your brackets, it’s not healthy.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 74 47 20 7 226 172 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 PIT 75 41 23 11 207 188 93
5 NYI 76 44 27 5 230 211 93
6 DET 74 40 22 12 216 201 92
7 WSH 75 40 25 10 218 186 90
8 BOS 75 37 25 13 199 195 87
9 OTT 74 37 25 12 216 199 86
10 FLA 75 34 26 15 186 205 83
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 75 31 32 12 167 192 74
14 CAR 74 28 36 10 173 202 66
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Huberdeau 72 13 34 8 47
N. Bjugstad 72 24 19 -7 43
J. Jokinen 74 7 33 -1 40
J. Jagr 70 13 26 -3 39
B. Boyes 73 12 23 10 35
A. Ekblad 74 11 24 11 35
J. Hayes 65 18 13 -5 31
A. Barkov 64 14 17 -2 31
B. Campbell 75 3 21 2 24
B. Pirri 42 20 2 5 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 26 17 12 .921 2.33
A. Montoya 5 7 2 .888 3.08
 
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