(SportsNetwork.com) – The Florida Panthers try to finish off their road trip
with another victory on Saturday night as they visit the slumping Arizona
The Panthers are 2-0-1 on their swing ahead of tonight’s finale and are coming
off an offensive explosion by their standards.
Florida netted just five goals through its first five games, held to a goal or
fewer in four straight following a season-opening 3-2 loss, but scored twice
in the first period en route to a 4-3 overtime win against Colorado on
Brandon Pirri, Aleksander Barkov and Sean Bergenheim all scored in regulation
and Brad Boyes put home the game-winner on the power play in the extra
session. He took a feed from Jonathan Huberdeau while racing in from the blue
line and fired home his second goal of the season.
Jussi Jokinen added his second assist of the game on the winner and Roberto
Luongo came up with 30 saves.
“We are getting chances from everybody now,” Boyes said. “Tonight we were
really working well together. We got the pucks in deep and we eliminated their
Arizona will try to spoil the end of Florida’s road trip and snap its 0-2-1
skid after getting blanked 2-0 by Minnesota on Thursday. The Wild got a 26-
save shutout by Darcy Kuemper.
Coyotes netminder Mike Smith came into the game 1-2-0 with a 5.34 goals
against average and .822 save percentage in three starts this season and
stopped 27-of-29 shots faced in the loss.
He hopes it was a sign of getting on track.
“It was better,” Smith said. “The outcome was disappointing but I definitely
felt we were in the hockey game at least. That’s a positive to come out of
that. We’re headed in the right direction.”
Smith is 6-4-3 with a 2.85 GAA and .903 save percentage in his career against
the Panthers, while Luongo has gone 13-12-2 with a 2.31 GAA, .922 save
percentage and three shutouts in his career when facing the Coyotes.
Arizona has held Florida to three goals in winning the past three meetings and
has taken five of the last six encounters overall. The Coyotes are 4-0-2 with
a tie in their past seven at home versus the Panthers.