Former NHL MVP Taylor Hall had the go-ahead goal and an assist, and team captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson added one goal and two assists as the Arizona Coyotes defeated the host Florida Panthers 5-2 on Tuesday night at Sunrise, Fla.
Hall, acquired from the New Jersey Devils last month, had his first multi-point game since joining the Coyotes. He has three goals and five assists in 10 games with his new team.
In addition, Arizona went 2-for-2 on its power play and 2-for-2 on its penalty kill.
The Coyotes also got goals from Christian Dvorak, Carl Soderberg and former Panthers first-round pick Lawson Crouse. Goalie Adin Hill had 37 saves, and Phil Kessel added three assists.
Florida got goals from Noel Acciari and Mike Hoffman - that’s 15 on the season for each - and 32 saves from Chris Driedger.
It was, in a sense, a battle of backup goalies. Due to injuries, the Coyotes are without Antti Raanta and Darcy Kuemper, and Hill made just his 16th career start.
The Panthers rested starting goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who has been struggling, and gave Driedger his sixth career start.
After a scoreless first period, there were five goals scored in less than six minutes in the second.
Arizona started the barrage with 10:20 gone in the second. A tripping penalty on Florida’s Evgenii Dadonov gave Arizona’s power play an opportunity, and Dvorak cashed in with his deflection of a Hall shot from the right circle.
Florida tied the score 61 seconds later as Acciari deflected Keith Yandle’s long and low shot.
The Panthers took a 2-1 lead just 36 seconds later. Hoffman took Riley Stillman’s lead pass, which created a two-on-one. Rather than pass, Hoffman scored from the left circle, beating Hill stick-side.
Arizona tied the score with 13:33 gone in the second as Ekman-Larsson took a short, lateral pass from Kessel and ripped home a shot from the left circle.
After a tripping call on Florida’s Brett Connolly as well as matching penalties, Arizona’s power play came through again, this time 4-on-3. With Dvorak providing a screen out front, Hall’s wrist shot hit the back of the net from the right circle.
Soderberg then got free for a breakaway tally with 1:59 left in the third, virtually clinching Arizona’s win. Crouse added his empty-netter with 48 seconds remaining.
—Field Level Media