Mike Ribeiro and defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson also scored
for the Coyotes, who beat Tampa Bay 4-3 on Monday in a shootout.
Mike Smith turned aside 31 shots in his sixth consecutive start
of the month and has allowed two or fewer goals in eight of his
last 11 outings for Phoenix.
Brandon Pirri, acquired from Chicago early in March, scored his
first goal in his fourth game with Florida. Roberto Luongo made
23 saves in his third game back (1-2-0) with the Panthers, who
have lost five of seven games since the Olympic break.
Smith stopped all 13 shots he faced in the opening period and
Keith Yandle’s one-timer from the top of the right circle
deflected off Ribeiro and past Luongo at 17:43 for a power-play
goal. Ekman-Larsson doubled the advantage 9:43 into the second,
scoring from the left point through a screen by Lauri
The Coyotes extended their lead 5:52 into the third when Vrbata
knocked home a crossing pass from Antoine Vermette on the rush.
Pirri scored on the power play for his seventh goal of the
season when his shot deflected off a Coyotes stick and eluded
Smith 8:54 into the final period.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Phoenix C Martin Hanzal missed his fifth straight
game with a lower-body injury and Coyotes RW Martin Erat
suffered an upper-body injury in the first period Tuesday and
did not return. … Phoenix is 14-8-3 against Eastern Conference
opponents. … Florida LW Sean Bergenheim left after the second
period with a lower-body injury.
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