|PHX||1||1||0||(0 - 0)||2|
|FLA||0||1||0||(0 - 0)||1|
|G: 1||Shots: 3|
|A: 1||Hits: 1|
|PTS: 2||PIM: 0|
|+/-: 0||TOI: 16:31|
|G: 1||Shots: 4|
|A: 0||Hits: 0|
|PTS: 1||PIM: 0|
|+/-: 1||TOI: 27:21|
|G: 0||Shots: 3|
|A: 0||Hits: 2|
|PTS: 0||PIM: 2|
|+/-: 1||TOI: 17:02|
By Associated Press
SUNRISE, Fla. – The Coyotes on Tuesday preserved a much-needed win by the smallest of margins.
Ray Whitney and Radim Vrbata each had a goal and assist to lift Phoenix to a 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers at the BankAtlantic Center.
Coyotes goalie 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 an extraordinarily close one on a penalty shot late in the game.
The Coyotes (17-13-3) won for just the second time in six games. The victory came about 72 hours after they gave up the winning goal with 0.1 seconds left on Saturday against the New York Rangers. This time, an inch or two separated them from a possible tying goal.
The Panthers (18-10-6) were 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 (see photo and KEY MOMENT below).
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.
|Photo by Getty Images.|
The Coyotes took a 1-0 lead during a five-on-three power play in the first period. Defenseman 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. Defenseman 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.
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.
► EDITOR'S NOTE: Dave Vest of phoenixcoyotes.com edited this story and compiled this recap.
|Martin Hanzal Elbowing against Tomas Fleischmann|
|Matt Bradley Tripping against Martin Hanzal|
|Mike Santorelli Tripping against Oliver Ekman-Larsson|
|David Schlemko Interference against Shawn Matthias|
|Shawn Matthias Interference against Oliver Ekman-Larsson|
|Kris Versteeg Slashing against Keith Yandle|
|Marco Sturm Interference against David Schlemko|
|Shane Doan Interference against Jose Theodore|
|Erik Gudbranson Delaying Game - Puck over glass|
|Michal Rozsival Tripping against Kris Versteeg|
|Dmitry Kulikov Hooking against Shane Doan|