|@ Panthers (35-18-7)||1||1||1||3|
The Panthers dominated puck possession in the first five minutes of play but this momentum shifted when Vincent Trocheck was penalized for hooking. Thankfully, the penalty was killed without much of an issue. The Coyotes still maintained possession of the puck after their power play, though, and that proved to be very dangerous. Shane Doan scored at 7:02 into the period to put Arizona on the board. Vincent Trocheck did what he does best after getting a penalty: he came back even harder. He shot the puck right past Domingue to tie the game up and the goal was assisted by Brian Campbell and Derek MacKenzie. After an iffy missed call on a Coyote hit, Kyle Rau was called for high sticking and the Panthers went on the penalty kill. The Panthers killed this one too. At the end of the period, the score was tied 1-1 but the Coyotes had the slight edge in shots on goal 7-6. My analysis of this period is going to be a bit repetitive. The Panthers played well defensively and are not trailing, which is a plus, but they also need to shoot more and push harder or the Coyotes will take their lead right back.
Some back-and-forth play marked the beginning of the second period. Just over five minutes in, the Panthers would get a much needed power play opportunity after Michael Stone was sent to the penalty box on a holding call. The Cats put up a fight but could not get the puck past Domingue. The Panthers would be able to try again after Oliver Ekman-Larsson was penalized for hooking but this time, they were a little more lucky. Aleksander Barkov scored off of the rebound to put the Panthers in the lead. The goal was assisted by Nick Bjugstad and Dmitry Kulikov. Michael Stone was sent to the box for holding (again) and the Panthers got the chance to get their third goal but just like in the Stone holding call earlier in the period, no goals were scored. At the end of the period, the Panthers were in the lead 2-1 but the two teams were tied at 15 in shots on goal. The Panthers played much better in the second, maintaining their defense while still shooting the puck. They fed off of the fact that the Coyotes played carelessly but cannot rely on that in the third. Hopefully, they can keep up the defense and offense as the game winds down.
The Panthers came out swinging in the third and Aleksander Barkov was able to capitalize on this enerto score his second goal of the game, assisted by Jaromir Jagr and Jussi Jokinen. The Coyotes looked discouraged in the next few minutes and that sense only grew when Antoine Vermette was sent to the sin bin on a boarding call. The power play was cut short because Nick Bjugstad was called for holding. This was the perfect opportunity for the Coyotes to make a move and they did. Oliver Ekman-Larsson was the goal scorer. In the end, this didn’t matter. The Panthers still won 3-2.
Vincent Trocheck scored a beautiful goal to get the Panthers on the board and Brian Campbell got his 400th career assist on the tally. Aleksander Barkov put the Panthers in the lead with a power play goal. This was Barkov’s 17th goal of the season, which is a career high for him. That wasn’t enough for Barkov in his returning game, and he scored the Panthers’ third goal as well.
The Panthers will embark on a five-game road trip, beginning on Saturday, February 27th at 3:00 pm ET against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Stay tuned for a COTP preview and recap of that game.