Coyotes 6, Panthers 3
Zbynek Michalek, Dave Scatchard, Geoff Sanderson and Paul Mara also scored for the Coyotes, who won for the third time in four games. Phoenix, coming off a 6-1 loss to Washington on Monday, converted five of seven power-play opportunities on an array of deflections and redirections.
“If we’re going to score we’re going to score dirty goals—tips-ins, deflections and battles in front of the net,” Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said. “When we get over fancy and think we’re a team comparable to the Ottawa Senators, we get ourselves in trouble.”
Martin Gelinas and Jozef Stumpel scored for the Panthers, who lost in regulation for just the fifth time in 17 games (9-5-3). Joe Nieuwendyk also was credited with a goal midway through the third period when Michalek slid the puck under Joseph’s left leg off a faceoff.
“Five on five competed pretty good. We outscored them,” Panthers coach Jacques Martin said. “We took too many penalties and when we did take the penalties we couldn’t keep the puck out of the net.”
Doan scored twice in a span of 2:18 late in the first period to snap a 1-1 tie. He first beat Panthers goalie Robert Luongo with his own rebound at 16:41 of the period, then fired the puck past Luongo’s outstretched glove at 18:59 of the period to give the Coyotes a 3-1 lead.
“It was not our best effort on the penalty kill, that’s for sure,” Panthers center Chris Gratton said. “The first one was my fault. Doaner just slipped behind me.”
But Scatchard redirected Mike Comrie’s shot in the low slot at 13:13, and Mara added a goal on another redirection at 18:53 to extend the Phoenix lead to 5-2.
“We can’t stress enough the specialty teams and how important they are,” Doan said. “If you want to win in the league now you have to have a good power play and then that’s going to make it a lot easier.”
Luongo was replaced by backup Jamie McLennan at the start of the third period.
Michalek’s own goal cut the lead to 5-3 with 14:02 to go. Sanderson made it 6-3 with 6:10 remaining on a short wrist shot off an errant attempt by Ballard.
“I was passing the puck to the right guys tonight,” Ballard said. “The guys were going to the net and when you do that you get some bounced like that.”
Michalek opened the scoring with a pass from the left point 6 minutes into the game. Gelinas tied it 91 seconds later when he whiffed on a shot, but the puck bounced in off the toe of his left skate.
Panthers LW Gary Roberts tangled skates with teammate Sean Hill 30 seconds into the game and was helped from the ice with a sprained knee. He didn’t return and will be re-evaluated on Friday. … The Coyotes scored at least five goals for the seventh time this season. … Nagy, the Coyotes’ leading scorer with 15 goals and 37 assists, had four points over his previous seven games. … Doan has three goals in two games. … Stumpel’s goal was his first since scoring two on Dec. 22 against Buffalo.