Panthers score 4 times in 3rd period to beat Coyotes 4-2Florida Panthers center Vincent Trocheck (21) celebrates after scoring a goal during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Arizona Coyotes, in Sunrise, Fla., Saturday, March 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- Vincent Trocheck got the Florida Panthers going at just the right time Saturday night.
Denis Malgin snapped a tie with 3:45 left after Trocheck tied the game with a pair of goals, and the Panthers overcame a two-goal deficit by scoring four times in the third period for a 4-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes.
Trocheck put Florida on the board at 6:13 of the third when his wrister beat goalie Darcy Kuemper to the short side. The center tied it at 2 when Mark Pysyk's shot deflected off the post and Trocheck reached around and tapped it in for the first 30-goal season of his career.
''We needed one of our big guys to step up. For (Trocheck) to get his 30th there, I think it's a statement,'' Panthers coach Bob Boughner said. ''That's what he's been all year. I call him the engine of the team. When he's going, we're going.''
Florida improved to 10-2-0 in its last 12 home games.
Malgin scored from the slot by gathering a loose puck and firing in his 11th of the season.
''It's always nice to score. If it's a game-winning goal it's nice, but most important is that we won this game and it was huge for us for the playoffs,'' said Malgin, who was moved from second-line right wing to the same spot on the third line.
''My line has done a good job. I was just waiting there and the puck came to me and I just shot it and it went in.''
The Panthers remained three points behind New Jersey for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. Florida has two games in hand on the Devils.
''Their big boys started to play, Trocheck and (Aleksander) Barkov. We didn't have an answer for them,'' Arizona coach Rick Tocchet said.
Jamie McGinn added an empty-netter with 14 seconds to play, with Trocheck getting an assist for a three-point night.
''Momentum is a real thing in hockey. We knew if we got one we would get that momentum and kind of keep throwing pucks at the net and hopefully get a couple bounces to go in,'' said Trocheck, whose previous high was 25 goals during the 2015-16 season.
In a matchup of backup goalies, James Reimer made 26 saves for the Panthers while starting in place of an ailing Roberto Luongo. Kuemper stopped 43 shots for Arizona.
''Obviously, they're desperate in the position they're at. They just kind of kept coming. Unfortunately, we just couldn't hold them off,'' said Kuemper, traded to Arizona by the Los Angeles Kings on Feb. 21. ''It's a desperate team over there that was able to get the upper hand late.''
Keller scored when Panik's shot from the right circle bounced to the rookie, who netted his 22nd goal at 14:36 of the first period for a 1-0 lead.
That tied Keller for most goals by a Coyotes rookie with Peter Mueller in 2007-08. Keller also holds the franchise rookie records for assists and points. The 19-year-old right wing stretched his point streak to seven games.
Arizona made it 2-0 when Stepan's shot on the power play deflected off Panik and past Reimer at 1:33.
The goal was Panik's 11th this season and third in four games. The left wing also has a five-game point streak.
NOTES: Arizona scratched centers Laurent Dauphin, Freddie Hamilton and Zac Rinaldo, plus defensemen Jason Demers and Niklas Hjalmarsson (lower body), who sustained a non-contact injury in Arizona's 6-5 loss Thursday at Carolina. ... Stepan has four consecutive multi-point games. . D Trevor Murphy, 22, who was acquired from Nashville last month, made his NHL debut after splitting time between AHL affiliates Tucson and Milwaukee. ... Florida scratched forwards Micheal Haley, Connor Brickley and Radim Vrbata, plus defenseman Ian McCoshen. ... The Panthers recalled G Harri Sateri from Springfield, with Luongo sore from the recent road trip. ... Florida D Aaron Ekblad, the No. 1 pick in the 2014 draft, played in his 300th game. ... The Panthers honored founding owner H. Wayne Huizenga, who died on Friday. Huizenga also was the founding owner of the Florida Marlins and owned the Miami Dolphins. ... Florida hosted Panther Conservation Night in an effort to raise awareness about the Florida panther, an endangered cougar that inhabits the Everglades and South Florida.
Coyotes: At the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday night.
Panthers: At the New York Islanders on Monday night.
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