Marchessault scores twice in Panthers' 3-1 win over Coyotes

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By PAUL GEREFFI, Associated Press

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- Jonathan Marchessault scored two goals and James Reimer made 38 saves to lift the Florida Panthers over the Arizona Coyotes 3-1 on Thursday night.

Shawn Thornton also scored a goal as the Panthers snapped a two-game losing streak. The Panthers are seven points behind the Boston Bruins for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference's Atlantic Division.

Tobias Rieder scored for Arizona, and Mike Smith stopped 21 shots. The Coyotes lost for the fourth time in five games.

With the score tied at 1 in the second period, Marchessault scored two goals 26 seconds apart to put the Panthers ahead 3-1. Aleksander Barkov skipped a pass to Marchessault in front and he redirected the puck into the net with 2:22 left in the period. Marchessault's next goal came on a shot from the left circle that went high over Smith's shoulder on the stick side with 1:56 left. Marchessault leads the Panthers with 25 goals.

Thornton recorded his second goal of the season to tie the game at 1 in bizarre fashion. Smith was caught out of position to the side of the net and as he tried to get back in the crease, he pulled on the right side of the net with his blocker hand just as Arizona's Jordan Martinook hit the left side of the net with his stick. As the net was falling, Thornton's first shot bounced off Smith's back in the crease but Thornton slid the rebound across the goal line and through the crease as the net was coming down on top of Smith but still on its moorings. After a review, the goal was awarded to the Panthers with 12:22 left in the second.

Arizona took a 1-0 lead on Rieder's goal 3:20 in. Rieder picked off an errant pass by Panthers defenseman Mark Pysyk and skated in on Reimer, beating him on the stick side.

NOTES: Panthers D Aaron Ecklad, who missed four games with a concussion before returning to the lineup last Tuesday, was scratched with an unrelated upper-body injury. ... Coyotes D Kevin Connauton (upper body), C Alexander Burmistrov (concussion) were all scratched. ... RW Shane Doan, the team captain, missed his fourth straight game with a lower-body injury.


Arizona: Visits the Washington Capitals on Saturday.

Florida: Hosts the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.

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