The Florida Panthers played the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night and won 3-1 at BB&T Center. The Panthers have won three of their last six games.
Lawson Crouse, who was drafted in the first round by Florida at the 2015 NHL Draft in Sunrise, played his first game against his former team in South Florida. Former local hockey prospect and Junior Panther player Jakob Chychrun also played his first game in Sunrise.
Arizona(27-38-9), who entered the contest with the second worst record in the National Hockey League, took the lead on their first shot of the game at 3:20 of the first period. Tobias Rieder skated into the Panthers zone on the right side, raced through the right circle and put in a forehand shot by James Reimer from the crease area.
In the second period, Florida(32-30-11) tied the game 1-1 in an unusual way at the 7:38 mark. Colton Sceviour passed the puck from the end wall to the crease. Shawn Thornton scored on his second attempt as the cage was pushed off its pegs by the right hand of Mike Smith and stick of Jordan Martinook. It was the second tally this season by Thornton.
Jonathan Marchessault compiled two goals in a 26-second span late in the frame to give the Panthers their first lead of the contest. Aleksander Barkov sent a cross-ice pass from the left circle to the right circle and Marchessault put in a snap shot with 2:22 left.
Thomas Vanek held the puck in the right circle and fed Marchessault on the left side. He fired a wrist shot in for his 26th goal of the season with 1:56 remaining.