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Phoenix
Coyotes
42-27-13
Florida
Panthers
38-26-18

22 SOG
28 SOG
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game recap

Coyotes 2, Panthers 1

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Associated Press

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Coyotes 2, Panthers 1
Phoenix Coyotes 2, Florida Panthers 1
Three Stars of the Game
Ray Whitney
1st
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 1Hits: 1
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 16:31
Brian Campbell
2nd
G: 1Shots: 4
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 27:21
Shawn Matthias
3rd
Shawn Matthias
C
G: 0Shots: 3
A: 0Hits: 2
PTS: 0PIM: 2
+/-: 1TOI: 17:02

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) - The Phoenix Coyotes preserved their win by the smallest of margins.

Ray Whitney had a goal and assist, and Radim Vrbata also scored to lift the Coyotes to a 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.

Mike Smith stopped 19 shots before leaving with 16:31 left in the third period because of a non-contact injury. Jason LaBarbera relieved Smith and made eight saves, including a close one on a penalty shot.

The Coyotes won for just the second time in six games. They gave up the winning goal with 0.1 seconds left on Saturday against the New York Rangers. This time, an inch separated them from a possible tying goal.

Florida was awarded a penalty shot with 24.5 seconds left in the game after several Coyotes' players displaced the net. Stephen Weiss' shot was blocked by LaBarbera, and the puck stopped right on the goal line.

"I looked at our bench, there was no reaction. Then I looked at their bench and there was no reaction, and I'm wondering what the heck is going on here?" LaBarbera said. "I looked beside me and saw it, and I obviously saw the replay and I was like, 'You gotta be kidding me."'

Brian Campbell scored for the Panthers, and Jose Theodore made 20 saves. It was the first loss in regulation for the Panthers in nine home games. Florida's last 13 home games have been decided by one goal.

Weiss came in fast and fired the puck low on his penalty shot.

"I was going with a lot of speed," Weiss said. "Just an inch short, I guess. I'd like to have that one back, for sure."

LaBarbera, who has played in seven games this season, responded well after coming off the bench cold.

"By that time in the third period, you don't feel like you are going to go in," LaBarbera said. "You do have to be ready at any time. I was kind of in la-la land, but the heart gets going pretty quick and you get out there and move around."

The Coyotes were relieved that the breaks went their way this time.

"Very important, very important. Having a penalty shot with 24 seconds left is not ideal," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "So to trade some of those demons away and get ourselves a win, that should be confidence for our group. That's the hockey gods maybe paying us one back for the other night."

The Coyotes took a 1-0 lead during a 5-on-3 power play in the first period. Oliver Ekman-Larsson passed from above the right circle to Whitney low in the left circle. His one-timer beat Theodore at 19:53.

Phoenix stretched its lead to 2-0 on a power-play goal by Vrbata at 9:02 of the second. Keith Yandle passed to Vrbata in the left circle, and his slap shot trickled past Theodore for his team-leading 16th goal.

The Panthers closed to 2-1 when Campbell's shot bounced off the right post, hit Smith on the back, and bounced back into the net with 2:18 left in the second.

"They played hard and we weren't able to find a way to pull it out in the end," Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said.

Florida's Mikael Samuelsson took a hard check from Phoenix's Shane Doan in the second and lay motionless on the ice for several minutes before being helped off the ice. He didn't return.

NOTES: Florida LW Sean Bergenheim missed the game because of a strained groin ... Florida signed RW Bill Thomas to a one-year, two-way contract. ... Phoenix D Adrian Aucoin is day-to-day with a lower body injury. ... Coyotes D David Schlemko was hit in the face by a puck in the second period. ... The Coyotes are 11-1-1 when leading after the first period.

scoring summary
1st Period
19:53
PHX
PPG - Ray Whitney (11) Snap shot - ASST: Oliver Ekman-Larsson (6), Radim Vrbata (13)
1 - 0 PHX
2nd Period
09:02
PHX
PPG - Radim Vrbata (16) Slapshot - ASST: Keith Yandle (17), Ray Whitney (19)
2 - 0 PHX
17:42
FLA
Brian Campbell (3) Snap shot - ASST: Kris Versteeg (19), Jason Garrison (6)
2 - 1 PHX
3rd Period
NONE
penalty summary
1st Period
01:18
PHX
Martin Hanzal  Elbowing against  Tomas Fleischmann
03:45
FLA
Matt Bradley  Tripping against  Martin Hanzal
06:54
FLA
Mike Santorelli  Tripping against  Oliver Ekman-Larsson
09:23
PHX
David Schlemko  Interference against  Shawn Matthias
18:09
FLA
Shawn Matthias  Interference against  Oliver Ekman-Larsson
18:57
FLA
Kris Versteeg  Slashing against  Keith Yandle
2nd Period
01:33
FLA
Marco Sturm  Interference against  David Schlemko
01:51
PHX
Shane Doan  Interference against  Jose Theodore
07:27
FLA
Erik Gudbranson  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
3rd Period
01:24
PHX
Michal Rozsival  Tripping against  Kris Versteeg
13:56
FLA
Dmitry Kulikov  Hooking against  Shane Doan
goalie stats
Jason LaBarbera
Jason LaBarbera
SA: 8TOI: 16:31
Saves: 8EV: 7 - 7
PIM: 0PP: 0 - 0
SV%: 1.000SH: 1 - 1
Mike Smith
Mike Smith
15-10-3
SA: 20TOI: 43:26
Saves: 19EV: 13 - 14
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 5
SV%: .950SH: 1 - 1
Jose Theodore
SA: 22TOI: 58:58
Saves: 20EV: 16 - 16
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 5
SV%: .909SH: 1 - 1
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