National Hockey League

Coyotes squeak past Panthers

Glendale, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Mike Smith made 22 saves and the Phoenix Coyotes strengthen their grip on the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference by clipping the visiting Florida Panthers, 2-1.

Radim Vrbata and Antoine Vermette scored for the Coyotes, who have won four straight at home and seven of their last nine games overall. Phoenix now leads Dallas by four points for the final playoff spot.

Roberto Luongo stopped 20 shots for Florida, which had gone 2-0-1 in its previous three games.

03/21 00:46:42 ET

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