Road Kill: Panthers fall 3-2 in overtime to lowly Coyotes

Cats finish roadie with 0-2-2 record

Tobias Reider easily scored 48 seconds into overtime, giving the Arizona Coyotes a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers at a rather empty Gila River Arena in Glendale.

The Cats finished their four-game tour of the Pacific Division with a disappointing 0-2-2 record.

Vincent Trocheck bagged his eighteenth of the season at the 14:24 mark of the first period to open scoring. Trocheck pounced on the rebound of Jakub Kindl’s shot from the point and smacked it by Mike Smith. Jonathan Marchessault collected the secondary assist for passing the puck back to Kindl.

The Coyotes erupted for two goals in a 12-second span early in the middle frame to take the lead.

After an Alexander Burmistrov faceoff win, Christian Fischer deflected Jakob Chychrun’s drive down and under Roberto Luongo to tie the score at the 2:03 mark.

Arizona won the ensuing draw at center ice and after a few passes, Ryan White beat Luongo with a run-of-the-mill wrist shot the veteran keeper usually stops. The assists on White’s third went to defensemen Chychrun and Connor Murphy.

Florida evened things up 4:19 later when Michael Sgarbossa put another rebound past Smith. Colton Sceviour’s initial shot deflected off Chychrun and on goal, and Sgarbossa got loose it front to put it home. Derek MacKenzie drew the second helper on the play.

The third period saw the Desert Dogs out-shoot the Cats by a hefty 16-6 margin, and both teams had an unsuccessful go on the power play.

In overtime, the Panthers trio of Sgarbossa, Marchessaault and Keith Yandle all got stuck too close to the Florida net, allowing Burmistrov the space to round the cage and find a wide-open Reider, who drilled the game-winner into the back of the net. Alex Goligoski was also credited with an assist.

The Panthers return home to face cross-state rival, and fellow underachiever, the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night. A win is needed to snap what has grown into a frustrating four-game losing streak, and to help the club stay in the playoff chase.

Kibbles & Bits

  • The Panthers now lead the league with ten Bettman points. Anaheim, Buffalo, Dallas, New Jersey, New York Islanders, and Toronto have each mustered nine.
  • Alexander Burmistrov two-assist performance gave the forward five helpers in five games since coming over on waivers from Winnipeg.
  • Roberto Luongo delivered another quality start not resulting in a win due to lack of offensive support. Luongo finished the game with 39 saves. The 42 shots were a season-high for Arizona.
  • Christian Fischer became the first player in Coyotes/Jets 1.0 history to score a goal in each of his first two NHL games.
  • Vincent Trocheck’s goal gave him at least a point in seven of the last eight games. Trocheck had a team-high five shots and logged 20:31 TOI.
  • Jakob Chychrun’s two assists gave the rookie South Florida native his first-ever multi-point game.
  • Florida’s 2015 first-rounder Lawson Crouse faced the team that drafted for the first time since being traded and registered two shots, a hit and finished with a -1 rating.
  • Keith Yandle, who was drafted by the Coyotes, suited up for his 600th consecutive game.
  • Attendance for the game between the two struggling clubs was a measly 10,042. The Coyotes can’t get to Tempe fast enough.
  • ACME-approved Five for Howling has the other side of Arizona’s latest home ice triumph over Florida./