March 25, 2018 / 2:14 AM / in 4 months

Four-goal third period leads Panthers past Coyotes

Down two goals in the third period, the host Florida Panthers rallied to defeat the Arizona Coyotes 4-2 on Saturday night at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla.

Denis Malgin pounced on a loose puck and roofed a shot for the go-ahead goal with 3:45 left in the third period. It was his first goal in exactly one month and his 11th of the season.

Vincent Trocheck scored Florida’s first two goals, tying the score 2-2 when it appeared the Panthers were lifeless. He has 30 goals this season, which leads his team and is a career best for the 2016-17 All-Star.

Jamie McGinn added an empty-net goal with 14 seconds left. The four goals in one period ties a season high for Florida. And with an assist on that play, Trocheck had three points on the night.

The win was crucial for the Panthers, who are chasing the New Jersey Devils for the last available wild-card playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. The Panthers, who are 19-5-1 since Jan. 30, kept pace with the Devils, who beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 earlier Saturday. New Jersey leads Florida by three points.

Florida was without starting goalie Roberto Luongo, who played Thursday in a loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets but is now out due to an upper-body injury. He is listed as day-to-day.

Panthers backup goalie James Reimer, who had allowed a total of just three goals in his past three starts, stopped 26 shots for his fourth straight win.

For Arizona, Clayton Keller and Richard Panik each had one goal and one assist. Keller tied a franchise rookie record with his 22nd goal.

Coyotes goalie Darcy Kuemper (43 saves) was spectacular most of the night.

Arizona opened the scoring with 14:36 expired in the first period. Panik fired a cross-ice pass that Keller played off his body before batting it in the net from point-blank range off of a bounce.

The Coyotes extended their lead to 2-0 on a power-play goal with just 1:33 gone in the second period. The opportunity was set up when the Panthers were whistled for too many men on the ice. Just 53 seconds later, Arizona scored when a Derek Stepan shot deflected in off the body of Panik, who was at the doorstep.

Florida cut its deficit to 2-1 with 13:47 remaining in the third. Trockeck scored the goal from a bad angle, beating Kuemper to the near side.

With 10:27 left in the third, Florida tied the score as Trocheck poked a rebound through Kuemper’s five-hole.

That set the stage for Malgin, as Florida closed with a flurry.

—Field Level Media

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