Panthers fall 4-3 in shootout to Coyotes after wild finish
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The Coyotes blew a third-period lead, tied the game with a short-handed goal and then hit the post three times on one power play late in regulation.
One wild game, another gutsy victory for Arizona.
“We’ve shown all year that we don’t quit,” said left wing Christian Dvorak, who played his first game of the season after battling injuries. “It was kind of a roller-coaster game, especially there in the third and overtime, but we persevered.”
The shootout came after a wild finish to regulation and overtime.
Stepan scored Arizona’s 13th short-handed goal of the season to tie it with 6½ minutes left. The Coyotes had a chance to win late in regulation, but hit three posts with the man advantage.
The Panthers nearly won in overtime for the second straight night, but Oliver Ekman-Larsson stopped one shot with his skate and Kuemper, who had 24 saves, got his glove up to deflect another while lying on his stomach.
Luongo was just as good, denying Alex Galchenyuk on a breakaway, then making a nifty glove save on Stepan seconds later to force the shootout.
“It was a gutsy effort coming back again,” Panthers coach Bob Boughner said. “Once you get to overtime and shootout, it’s anybody’s game.”
It was all Coyotes in the shootout.
Nick Cousins and Galchenyuk both scored, then Kuemper stopped Aleksander Barkov on Florida’s second shot. Hinostroza ended it with some slick stickhandling and a shot that slipped past Luongo to move the Coyotes within two points of the final Western Conference playoff spot.
“I liked our game, but I thought we let our foot off a wounded snake,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. “You had some grumpy people after that. But a lot of credit to our guys. They stuck with it.”
Arizona had a 2-1 lead heading into the third on goals by Stepan and Ekman-Larsson.
Stepan tied it, toe-dragging the puck past a sliding Panthers player before wristing a shot past Luongo.
Luongo made some spectacular saves in regulation and overtime, but the Coyotes scored on all three attempts in the shootout.
Mike Hoffman also scored for the Panthers.
“We knew after 40 (minutes) we hadn’t played our best hockey,” Florida defenseman Keith Yandle said. “We didn’t dwell on it and just did a good job of putting in our work and having a good third.”
NOTES: Florida C Jayce Hawryluk went out early in the first period with a right leg injury after a big hit in the corner by Ilya Lyubushkin and did not return. … Ekman-Larsson tied David Babych for third on Arizona’s career list with 321 points. … Yandle played in his 777th straight game to pass Craig Ramsay for the fifth-longest streak in NHL history. … Dvorak had been sidelined with an upper-body injury and a torn pectoral muscle.
Florida plays at Vegas on Thursday.
Arizona hosts Vancouver on Thursday.