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Coyotes let Panthers steal game

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After two great periods of play, the Coyotes allowed the Florida Panthers to get back into the game and dominate the third period, taking the win.

NHL: Florida Panthers at Arizona Coyotes Mark J. Rebilas | USA TODAY Sports

After a dominant first period, where the Coyotes put up the most shots in one period they’ve had this season, they dropped the metaphorical ball.

Late in the second, the Panthers got back into the game on a Bjugstad face-off goal. From there on, the Panthers were the dominant team and took the game.

Scoring Summary

First Period

1-0 Coyotes: (Fischer) As the Coyotes power play expired, Oliver Ekman-Larsson sent a saucer pass to Clayton Keller, who fired it at James Reimer and Christian Fischer redirected it in front.

Second Period

2-0 Coyotes: (Stepan) Late in the 2nd, Alex Goligoski launched a shot from the point where Derek Stepan was there to clean up the rebound.

2-1 Panthers: (Bjugstad) Even later in the second, 9.7 seconds left to be exact, Nick Bjugstad scored off the face-off, beating goaltender Antti Raanta cleanly.

Third Period

2-2 Tie: (Malgin) The Panthers get a rare 2-on-1 opportunity as Evgenii Dadonov bypassed Kevin Connauton, feeding the puck to a wide open Denis Malgin who put it past Raanta.

3-2 Panthers: (Matheson) During 4-on-4 play, Mike Matheson easily slipped past the Coyotes defensemen and went 5-hole on Raanta.

Three Answers

Nick Merkley NHL debut?

Nick Merkley made his NHL debut against the Panthers as expected. Merkly did not score and took a minor penalty, but played hard and got to the gritty areas.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson out?

Ekman-Larsson was in the line-up tonight and did not appear to have any noticeable ailments.

Will the Coyotes win?

The Coyotes fell to the Panther 3-2 after a fantastic 39 minutes and 50 seconds of hockey.

Players of the Game

Arizona-Christian Fischer scored a deflection goal and was his usual hard working self.

Florida-James Reimer: Reimer was the only reason the Coyotes didn’t blow this game open in the first two periods stopping 39 out of 41 total SOGs good for 95% on the night.

Three Stars

3rd Star-Christian Fischer

2nd Star-Mike Matheson

1st Star-James Reimer

Paw Prints

  • For more on the Florida Panthers check out Litter Box Cats
  • The Coyotes had, what might have been, their best period of play this season, firing 22 shots on goal. In just one period, the Coyotes eclipsed their shot total against the Penguins (17) Saturday night.
  • There were 10,203 fans in attendance for tonight’s tilt against the Panthers.

Looking Ahead

The Washington Capitals come to town on Friday 12/22 to take on the Coyotes at Gila River Arena. Game start is at 7pm.