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National Hockey League
Florida 5, Arizona 3
When: 7:00 PM ET, Monday, October 25, 2021
Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise, Florida
Referees: Eric Furlatt, Frederick L'Ecuyer
Linesmen: Jesse Marquis, Bryan Pancich
Attendance: 13943

The Florida Panthers, who lead the NHL with 12 points, ran their season-opening winning streak to six games by defeating the Arizona Coyotes 5-3 on Monday night in Sunrise, Fla.

Florida got goals from Joe Thornton, Frank Vatrano, Aaron Ekblad, Jonathan Huberdeau and Anthony Duclair. Sam Bennett and Brandon Montour added two assists each, and Huberdeau also had a two-point night.

Panthers 20-year-old rookie goalie Spencer Knight made 18 saves and improved to 6-0-0 since making his NHL debut late last season.

The Panthers had a 41-21 advantage in shots on goal.

Arizona, winless in six games (0-5-1), lost starting goalie Carter Hutton due to a lower-body injury. He made 10 saves on 11 shots but left after the first period.

The Coyotes got goals from Clayton Keller, Liam O'Brien and Phil Kessel. Karel Vejmelka, who replaced Hutton for the final two periods, made 26 saves.

Arizona also lost defenseman Conor Timmins, who sustained a leg injury after getting hit into the boards by Florida's Radko Gudas.

The Panthers had an 11-1 advantage on first-period shots on goal, yet the Coyotes took a 1-0 lead at 17:43 on their one shot, Keller's breakaway.

With Panthers defensemen Ekblad and MacKenzie Weegar pinched in, Arizona took advantage. Weegar's bad pass was intercepted by Nick Schmaltz, whose long feed sprung Keller. Knight was beaten five-hole.

Florida tied the score on Thornton's goal with 19 seconds left in the first. The Panthers, with their second-string power-play unit on the ice, earned a clean faceoff win, with Owen Tippett moving the puck toward Montour for a blast from the point. Sam Reinhart collected the rebound and made a short dish to Thornton for his wide-open, point-blank goal.

It was Thornton's first goal of the season.

The Panthers took a 2-1 lead with six minutes gone in the second. Patric Hornqvist slid a cross-ice pass off the boards to Montour, whose shot was saved by Vejmelka. However, Vatrano was there to shove in the rebound.

Florida took a 3-1 lead with 9:41 left in the second on Ekblad's power-play goal, which deflected off Arizona defenseman Jakob Chychrun.

The Panthers made it 4-1 in the third as Tippett's steal led to a two-on-nine breakaway and Huberdeau's goal. Bennett got the primary assist.

Florida's string of goals was snapped as Arizona scored twice in 34 seconds. O'Brien scored with 8:03 left, and Kessel came through with 7:29 remaining.

Duclair's empty-netter with 39 seconds left sealed Florida's win.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Arizona   Florida
Clayton Keller 1 Points Jonathan Huberdeau 2
Clayton Keller 1 Goals Jonathan Huberdeau 1
Christian Fischer 1 Assists Sam Bennett 2
N/A Power Play Goals Aaron Ekblad 1
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Carter Hutton .909 Save Percentage Spencer Knight .857
Karel Vejmelka 26 Saves Spencer Knight 18
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Arizona 21 3 0-1 1-3 23 24
Florida 41 5 2-3 1-1 9 32
Upcoming Games
  • Florida will play their next game at home against Boston. The Panthers have a W/L % of 1.000 after a win and 1.000 after a loss.
  • Arizona will play their next game on the road against Tampa Bay. The Coyotes have a W/L % of .000 after a win and .000 after a loss.