Saturday, January 23, 2021

Coyotes win fourth straight with dominant special teams play

Arizona Coyotes snap five-game losing streak in BB&T Center during a thrilling 5-2 victory over the Florida Panthers.

Power play goals from Christian Dvorak and Taylor Hall started and ended the scoring during a frantic five-minute spell in the second period as the Arizona Coyotes ran out 5-2 victors over the Florida Panthers to extend their winning streak to four games on Tuesday night.

“It was just a workman type of game,” said head coach Rick Tocchet. “Special teams was obviously something we were really happy with, we won that battle. Florida’s a really good team, they pressed a couple of times but we held our own, we defended really well at the end. A lot of guys contributed tonight.”

All eyes were on goaltender Adin Hill, as the 23-year-old made his first start of the year between the pipes for the Coyotes. Hill’s first real test came via a Vincent Trocheck tipped effort off a Riley Stralman shot.

Both teams came within inches midway through the first period. Lawson Crouse’s snapshot struck the crossbar before Johnathon Huberdeau fizzed a wrist shot off the post from the left circle as he looked to beat Hill on the short side.

During the Panthers’ first power-play (Lawson Crouse interference on Johnathon Huberdeau) Hill made a number of saves to keep the game scoreless after one as the Panthers outshot the Coyotes 14-11.

Coyotes score on first power play

The floodgates opened during the second period with five goals in five minutes 19 seconds. Christian Dvorak tipped a Taylor Hall shot beyond Chris Driedger for his 11th goal of the season on, during the Coyotes’ first power play of the game.

That joy, however, was short-lived as 61 seconds later Noel Acciari scored his 15th of the season, deflecting Keith Yandle’s low shot to the top shelf past Adin Hall to tie the game at 1-1.

Mike Hoffman restored the Panthers’ advantage during a two-on-one, dispatching a wrist shot to assists by Riley Stillman and Dominic Toninato.

Some lackluster play on the edge of the coyotes’ defensive zone was punished by Oliver Ekman-Larsson for his fifth of the year to tie the game at 2-2.

However, the Coyotes flexed their special team’s muscles once again as Taylor found the top shelf during their second power-play of the game. Lawson Crouse had an opportunity to double the Coyotes advantage only to be denied by the post.

During the third, the Panthers put tremendous pressure on the Coyotes, as they spent long periods in the offensive zone only to be denied time after time by Adin Hill who made 37 saves.

Chris Driedger kept the Panthers in the game three huge saves, the pick of the bunch from Taylor Hall, who gloved down a cross-ice pass before unleashing a shot as he drove towards to net.

Inevitably the Panthers came undone as they probed continuously for a game-tying goal. Carl Soderberg scored a breakaway goal to leave the Panthers trailing 4-2 with just under two minutes remaining. The misery was further compounded as Phil Kessel unselfishly passes the puck to Lawson Crouse for an empty netter, ensuring the Coyotes a fifth straight victory.

Up next

Arizona Coyotes @ Tampa Bay Lightning (Thursday).

Florida Panthers entertainment Vancouver Canucks (Thursday).

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