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News

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 / 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 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 48 18 22 8 109 135 44
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 48 14 31 3 90 171 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
N. Bjugstad 46 16 13 -1 29
A. Ekblad 46 7 21 6 28
J. Huberdeau 43 9 17 1 26
J. Jokinen 45 4 21 -3 25
B. Boyes 44 10 12 2 22
J. Hayes 38 13 7 0 20
S. Bergenheim 35 8 9 1 17
A. Barkov 35 5 10 -5 15
B. Campbell 46 3 11 -1 14
D. Kulikov 41 1 13 -4 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
R. Luongo 18 11 8 .920 2.42
A. Montoya 3 4 2 .891 2.96
 
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