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game recap

Coyotes top Panthers, end losing streak

Tanguay scores twice, Arizona wins for first time in eight games

by Jerry Brown / Correspondent

Tanguay nets his second goal

FLA@ARI: Tanguay deflects home his second goal

3/5/16: Alex Tanguay deflects Antoine Vermette's pass past Al Montoya for his second goal of the game, giving the Coyotes a 4-1 lead in the 3rd

  • 00:53 •

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Alex Tanguay was itching to play his first game with the Arizona Coyotes, particularly linemates and fellow Quebec natives Antoine Vermette and Anthony Duclair, but a sore knee pushed his debut back 48 hours.

He more than made up for the delay.

Tanguay had two goals and an assist, and his new line combined for nine points to help the Coyotes end a seven-game losing streak with a 5-1 win against the Florida Panthers at Gila River Arena on Saturday.

Vermette tied career highs with three assists and four points, Duclair had two assists, and the Coyotes, who played without suspended forward Max Domi, controlled the final 40 minutes thanks to their new French connection.

"I hope it keeps going. It was fun," Tanguay said. "Anthony's got a lot of speed, a lot of skills, and he's going to create a lot of open ice. … And Antoine is a very smart player. He plays well in both zones, he wins a lot of faceoffs, he's extremely smart with the puck, and tonight he made a lot of great plays."

Video: FLA@ARI: Tanguay scores in front to pad Coyotes' lead

After the Colorado Avalanche traded Tanguay to the Coyotes before the 2016 NHL Trade Deadline on Monday, he watched Arizona's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins that night. He came to Arizona the next day and practiced Wednesday, but a slight knee sprain he sustained in the Avalanche's 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game against the Detroit Red Wings at Coors Field on Feb. 27 left him unable to play Thursday in a 5-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks.

"It's was a long wait. You almost feel like you're not part of the team," Tanguay said "I was anxious to get going and get to know my teammates. The easiest way to get to know hockey players is on the bench."

Shane Doan and Jordan Martinook scored for the Coyotes (28-31-6), who won for the first time since a 6-3 victory against the Dallas Stars on Feb. 18.

Arizona goalie Louis Domingue made 32 saves and was particularly good in the first period, when he had nine stops to keep it scoreless.

"He was good and he had to be good," Arizona coach Dave Tippett said. "He made some big saves to keep us around the game. I didn't think our first period was very good at all; we didn't really work hard."

Video: FLA@ARI: Vermette pads lead with a late goal

Aaron Ekblad scored for Florida (36-21-8), which went 1-3-1 on its five-game road trip and is two points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning for first place in the Atlantic Division. Al Montoya made 21 saves.

The Panthers were 0-for-5 on the power play.

"We should have played better," Florida coach Gerard Gallant said. "We didn't have our 60-minute team that it takes to win in this league and it cost us on this trip."

Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr was kept off the score sheet and remains tied with Gordie Howe for third on the NHL's all-time scoring list with 1,850 points.

Video: FLA@ARI: Doan backhands a loose puck in front for PPG

The Coyotes are 8-0-1 in their past nine home games against the Panthers, who have not won in regulation in Arizona since Dec. 8, 1999.

Florida outshot Arizona 9-8 and possessed the puck for the majority of the first period. Panthers center Vincent Trocheck had four shots on goal and hit the post midway through the period.

"We were looking pretty good early, but defensively we ended up costing ourselves chance after chance," Florida center Nick Bjugstad said. "Our power play is a crucial part of the game, and we are not doing the job. We've got to get in front of the net and jam away."

Martinook opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal early in the second period. He stripped the puck from Florida's Reilly Smith and took off down the ice on a breakaway. He shot the puck early, picking the top corner over Montoya's stick at 00:29 for his ninth goal.

It was the second shorthanded goal for the Coyotes, who have allowed an NHL-high 11.

"Martinook had a real good effort," Tippett said. "He set the tone for the second period and got us going."

Video: FLA@ARI: Martinook's shorthanded goal opens scoring

Tanguay, Vermette and Duclair took over from there.

Vermette backhanded a pass across the slot to Tanguay, whose backhand shot beat Montoya at 5:36 for his fifth goal and first with the Coyotes.

"I was hoping this combination would work," said Vermette, who had 24 points in 58 games entering Saturday. "Sometimes, things look good on paper, but you never know on the ice how it's going to pan out. But tonight it worked pretty good. We had a good mix."

Video: FLA Recap: Panthers fall 5-1

Florida got back within a goal at 17:28 with the teams playing at 4-on-4. Jussi Jokinen set up Ekblad for a one-timer from the left circle that beat Domingue to the far post. Ekblad's 13th goal was his second in the past four games.

But the Coyotes took back the momentum early in the third. After Jagr was called for an interference penalty at 1:26, Vermette deflected an Oliver Ekman-Larsson shot down into the crease, and Doan backhanded in his 24th goal, 11th on the power play, at 1:36 to make it 3-1.

Montoya made a save against Duclair on a penalty shot at 2:26, but Duclair started a tic-tac-toe play with a pass to Vermette, who put the puck right on the tape of Tanguay for a deflection goal and a 4-1 Coyotes lead.

Duclair and Tanguay set up Vermette at 19:37 to complete the scoring.

Video: Tanguay scores two, Vermette grabs 4 points in win

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