Florida Panthers comeback in the third, defeating the Arizona Coyotes 4-2

SUNRISE, FL - MARCH 24: Denis Malgin
SUNRISE, FL - MARCH 24: Denis Malgin /

After getting completely manhandled against the Blue Jackets last Thursday, the Florida Panthers were looking to get back to their winning ways against the Arizona Coyotes.

Before the puck was dropped to begin the game, the Panthers held a moment of silence in memory of Wayne Huizenga, the man who founded both the Florida Panthers and Miami Marlins. Thereafter, netminders Darcy Kuemper and James Reimer both went to their cages, getting ready to start the match.

Florida started the game off strong, buzzing around in the opening couple of minutes. Aleksander Barkov created a beautiful scoring opportunity early on, but was denied by Kuemper. Arizona managed to pick up their game minutes later, changing the momentum of the game.

The Coyotes were making life difficult for the Cats, pinning the home side in their own zone for quite some time. The Panthers were finding it rather hard to exit their zone, with the Coyotes’ defense plugging the boards tight.

Halfway through the period, Christian Dvorak was sprung on a breakaway, facing James Reimer in on a 1-on-1 situation. Thankfully however, Reimer was able to come up big, shutting Dvorak down in tight:

However, with six and a half minutes remaining in the first, Clayton Keller broke the deadlock. Richard Panik shoveled a pass to Keller on the other side, where Clayton jammed the loose puck home, giving his side a 1-0 lead:

Keller’s goal would later send the Coyotes into the dressing room, up by a goal after one. For the Panthers, they desperately needed a regroup, especially after the period that they had.

The second period was a chance for the Panthers to turn things around, but early on, the Cats got caught with too many men, giving the Coyotes their first man advantage of the night. On the power play, it didn’t take the Yotes long before they scored.

Richard Panik tipped Derek Stepan’s point-shot, doubling the Coyotes lead off the man advantage. From there, the Cats dug themselves a pretty deep hole.

Throughout the rest of the second, the Panthers kept chopping at the bit, looking to cut the Coyotes’ lead in half. Unfortunately, no matter how many chances they created and post’s they hit, nothing was crossing the goal-line.

Florida even received two power plays passed the halfway mark in the second, but ultimately failed to cash in on them both. The Panthers would find themselves trailing by two goals at the end of two periods. For a team looking to squeeze into the last wildcard spot, dropping crucial points to a team like Arizona was a huge no-no.

The third period was a little different in sequence though, as the Panthers managed to put themselves on the board early on. That’s right, Vincent Trocheck sniped a shot over Kuemper’s shoulder, cutting the Coyotes’ lead in half (2-1):

Three and a half minutes later, Vinnie Trocheck tallied his second of the game, leveling the score at two goals apiece. This time, Trocheck crashed the net hard, pouncing on the loose rebound in front:

From there, the Panthers brought some life back into the game, and gave themselves a chance to grab the crucial two points. For the Coyotes, it looked as if their night could be over.

The team we saw in the third was completely different than the team we saw in the first. In a sense, it was night and day. Florida managed to comeback from a two-goal deficit, all in one period. But, question was: could they score the go-ahead goal?

With under four minutes left in regulation, Denis Malgin made it all happen. The Swiss kid pounced on a loose puck in front, snapping a shot over Kuemper and in:

Jamie McGinn’s empty net goal would give the Florida Panthers a 4-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes, keeping them afloat in their push for the postseason.

Overall, the Florida Panthers once again started off slow, but managed to come clutch in the end. Slow starts to games need to be avoided, especially when you’re facing better opponents. Your Panthers are back in action on Monday, March 26th @7:00pm against the New York Islanders