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Arizona Coyotes break losing streak, defeat Florida Panthers 5-1

Alexisonfire as Tanguay finishes Arizona debut with two goals and an assist.

The French connection were influential in the Coyotes' first win since the 18th of February.
The French connection were influential in the Coyotes' first win since the 18th of February.
Ralph Freso/Getty Images

Without favorite-son Max Domi, the chances of the Arizona Coyotes breaking their seven game losing streak against the playoff bound Panthers appeared to be slim.

Thankfully, the Coyotes-debut of Alex Tanguay was not only a quality performance, but a timely one given Domi's absence. The newly created Tanguay - Vermette - Duclair line (dubbed "The French Connection" by Tyson Nash) went to business against the Florida Panthers, leading the Coyotes with a combined nine points across the line for the night.

Furthermore, the quiet return of Boyd Gordon into the lineup cannot go without notice as the Coyotes penalty kill unit killed all 5 penalties Arizona saw. Gordon finished the night with a +/- of +1 and saw 5 minutes and 56 seconds of penalty kill action.

Scoring Summary

First Period

There was no scoring in the first period (potentially a huge relief for the Coyotes and fans alike), as the Panthers marginally out-shot the Coyotes nine to eight.

Second Period

1-0 Arizona: On the penalty kill, Jordan Martinook stole the puck from the Panthers in the neutral zone, turned around and with no Panthers between him and the goal, went in one-on-one with Florida's goaltender Al Montoya. Keeping it simple and keeping his head up, Martinook closed the space between Montoya and himself before a quick release to the top left corner got the Coyotes on the board courtesy of a rare short-handed goal. Unassisted at 0:29.

2-0 Arizona: Alex Tanguay scored his first goal as a Coyote in his first game as a Coyote. After Anthony Duclair won the puck in a board battle behind the net,  the puck spilled to Antoine Vermette on the left side of the goals. Vermette then turned around and back handed a pass to Tanguay waiting on the right hand side of the net. There, Tanguay patiently dangled the puck around a stretched out Al Montoya and in. Assist to Vermette at 5:36.

2-1 Arizona: After coincidental minors to Connor Murphy and Garrett Wilson for roughing, the Panthers took advantage of a 4 on 4 segment of play. During a three-on-three rush, Jussi Jokinen made an excellent lateral pass after receiving a drop pass from Aleksander Barkov. Jokinen's passing target was Aaron Ekblad who one-timed truly to get the Panthers on the board. Assisted by Jokinen and Barkov at 17:28.

Third Period

3-1 Arizona: Shane Doan scored his 24th goal of the season off a straightforward play by Arizona's power play unit. Oliver Ekman-Larsson received the puck at the point off a slick backhanded saucer pass by Alex Tanguay from the right boards, before ripping the puck towards the net. There, Antoine Vermette managed to get a deflection on the shot which was initially saved by Al Montoya before Doan whacked home a juicy rebound. Assists to Vermette and Ekman-Larsson at 1:36.

4-1 Arizona: After a nice keep in and pass by Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Anthony Duclair made a pin point pass across the ice right to the left wing where Antoine Vermette received the pass. Vermette then hit the puck forward to Alex Tanguay, who as going forward to the net tipped Vermette's pass past Al Montoya and home for his second goal in his Coyotes debut. Assists to Vermette and Duclair at 5:35.

5-1 Arizona: Al Montoya failed to control an enormous rebound from a hard Anthony Duclair shot from the right point, allowing the puck to bounce neatly to Antoine Vermette who was waiting to collect his 4th point for the night on the left post of the goals. Montoya was screened by Alex Tanguay on the initial Duclair shot, proving Tanguay's effectiveness across the whole 60 minutes. Assists to Duclair and Tanguay at 19:37.

Stat Report

Florida Panthers Arizona Coyotes
First Period Shots 9 8
Second Period Shots 11 7
Third Period Shots 10 11
Total Shots 30 26
Power Plays 0/5 1/3
Faceoff Wins 37% 63%
Save Percentage .808 .967

Three Stars of the Game

As selected by the Coyotes Broadcast Team:

1st Star - Alex Tanguay (ARI)

2nd Star - Antoine Vermette (ARI)

3rd Star - Shane Doan (ARI)

Paw Prints

  • For an Florida perspective, check out Litter Box Cats.
  • Max Domi was not dressed for tonight's game as he served a one game suspension for instigating a fight in the last 5 minutes of the Anaheim @ Arizona game on Thursday night.
  • Boyd Gordon returned to the ice for the first time since February 5th after being listed on injured reserve for the past month.
  • Alex Tanguay suited up for his first game as an Arizona Coyote, as Viktor Tikhonov, Jarred Tinordi and Klas Dahlbeck were all healthy scratches for Arizona.
  • Marek Langhamer served as Louis Domingue's backup after being recalled from the AHL; Niklas Treutle was sent back down to the AHL after playing 50 minutes across two NHL games for the Coyotes, allowing five goals on twenty shots and registering at .750 save percentage.
  • Max Domi's suspension from tonight's game means that only Brad Richardson, Michael Stone, Tobias Rieder and Oliver Ekman-Larsson have played in every Coyotes' game this season thus far.
  • Attendance: 14,825.

Looking Ahead

The Coyotes now begin a four game Western Conference road trip in Colorado, taking on the Avalanche on Monday night at the Pepsi Center. Puck drop is at 7:00pm local Arizona time and the game will be broadcast on NBCSN, not Fox Sports Arizona as per usual.