Coyotes goalie Mike Smith had little chance to stop Florida's first goal on Thursday night because his net was on top of him when Shawn Thornton's shot crossed the goal line at 7:38 of the second period.
The bizarre goal, which was confirmed by video review, was the first of three for Florida in the second period, and it helped the Panthers earn a 3-1 win at the BB&T Center.
Smith mishandled the puck behind the net moments before Thornton's goal and his mad dash back to the front of the net helped tip the cage forward.
"I tried to battle back in and make the save there and the net ends up on top of me," Smith said. "I had no idea where it went after that … The explanation was the net was still on its moorings, so it's a good goal."
The fact the officials and the NHL let the goal stand left Smith scratching his head.
"It's a kind of weird one," Smith said. "(I) haven't seen that before ... I guess my interpretation of the rule is a little different than (what) the rule actually is."
Here's the official ruling from the NHL:
"At 7:38 of the second period in the Coyotes/Panthers game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine if the Arizona net became displaced prior to Shawn Thornton's goal. Video review confirmed that puck crossed the Arizona goal line before the net became displaced. According to Rule 78.4: The goal frame shall be considered in its proper position when at least a portion of the flexible peg(s) are still inside both the goal post and the hole in the ice. The flexible pegs could be bent, but as long as at least a portion of the flexible peg(s) are still in the hole in the ice and the goal post, the goal frame shall be deemed to be in its proper position. The goal frame could be raised somewhat on one post (or both), but as long as the flexible pegs are still in contact with the holes in the ice and the goal posts, the goal frame shall not be deemed to be displaced. Good goal Florida."
Video: Mike Smith discusses Coyotes' 3-1 loss to Panthers
• Jonathan Marchessault scored goals 26 seconds apart late in the second period to help Florida seize control of the game.
"When other teams elevate their play, we either don't have enough players that know how to handle that or we just can't push back enough more," Smith said. "We end up defending all game. When you defend for the rest of the game against a good team, your chances of winning are slim to none."
Head Coach Dave Tippett didn't like his team's play after the first intermission.
"We were all right in the first, then they turned it up in the second and we didn't respond too well in the second and third," Tippett said. "When you make too many mistakes like that it ends up in the back of your net. That's what you get."
Video: Dave Tippett discusses Coyotes' 3-1 loss to Panthers
• Rookie Jakob Chychrun, a native of Boca Raton, Fla., played his first game at BB&T Center as an NHLer. He skated 18:06, in front of his parents and many other family members and friends, and delivered four hits.
Video: Chychrun discusses Coyotes' 3-1 loss to Panthers
• Rookie Christian Fischer experienced his first loss as an NHL player. The Coyotes posted a 4-0-0 record in Fischer's first four games with the team.
• Rookie Lawson Crouse played 13:15 and notched two hits in his first game at the BB&T Center since Florida traded him to Arizona last summer. The Panthers drafted him 11th overall at the BB&T Center in 2015.
• Neither team was called for a penalty.
• Captain Shane Doan missed his fourth straight game because of a lower-body injury.