Coyotes give up 5 goals on road in loss to Panthers
SUNRISE, Fla. — Matthew Tkachuk recorded his first hat trick as a member of the Florida Panthers as he helped lead his team to a 5-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night.
Tkachuk was acquired over the summer in a trade in which Calgary received Florida stars Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar in return. His third goal added to his team lead with 20.
Florida also got a pair of goals from Eric Staal and 33 saves from Spencer Knight to end a two-game skid.
The Coyotes, which fell behind 2-0 but tied the score twice in the second period, had goals from Jakob Chychrun, Clayton Keller and Nick Bjugstad.
Karel Vejmelka made 32 stops as Arizona lost a second consecutive game.
Tkachuk got the Panthers started 1:09 into the game by knocking in a puck from close range. Just over 10 minutes later, Staal made it 2-0.
The first goal from Arizona came on a power play with 2.1 seconds remaining in the opening period from Chychrun.
Keller tied it at 2 at 5:17 of the second with a terrific backhanded shot that sliced through traffic.
Florida and Arizona traded goals (Tkachuk and Bjugstad) before Staal gave the Panthers a lead at 4-3 they would not give up at 16:01 of the second.
Tkachuk’s third goal came on the power play as he followed up his own rebound, putting a loose puck past Vejmelka with 31 seconds left in the period.
NOTES: Of the five skaters in the Arizona starting lineup Tuesday night, four had ties to the South Florida area. Bjugstad and Lawson Crouse once played for the Panthers; Chychrun and Shayne Gostisbehere grew up in South Florida and played for the Jr. Panthers in their younger years. Chychrun’s father Jeff worked the game as a member of the Panthers’ television broadcast team. … Liam O’Brien and Matias Maccelli remained out of the Arizona lineup due to injury with Zack Kassian being a healthy scratch. Florida scratched Matt Kiersted and Zac Dalpe. … Knight recorded his first NHL point by getting the secondary assist on Tkachuk’s third goal Tuesday. … The hat trick from Tkachuk was the second for the Panthers in their past four games with Aleksander Barkov getting one against Montreal on Dec. 29.
Coyotes: At Philadelphia on Thursday night.
Panthers: At Detroit on Friday night.