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NHL Game Summary - Florida at Phoenix



(Wednesday, February 4th)

Final Score: Florida 5, Phoenix 4 (OT)

Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) - Olli Jokinen scored his second power-play goal of the game with 1:38 remaining in overtime to lift the Florida Panthers to an improbable 5-4 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes at Glendale Arena.

Juraj Kolnik scored a goal and set up another in a 28-second span late in the third to force overtime for the Panthers, who salvaged the finale of a three- game road trip and won for the first time in five games (1-3-1).

Mike Van Ryn scored the tying goal and assisted on the winner, while Eric Beaudoin also found the back of the net in the victory. Jokinen added an assist for a three-point night and Steve Shields finished with 24 saves.

"It doesn't happen too often when you are down by two and there is only two minutes left," said Jokinen. "You can't count on winning the game when it is like that."

Shane Doan set up three goals for Phoenix, which is 0-3-1-1 in its last five and completed a six-game homestand with just one victory. Dan Cleary, Chris Gratton, Paul Mara and Daymond Langkow scored for the Coyotes.

Brian Boucher stopped 23 shots in defeat.

After Kolnik's heroics in the late stages of the third period, he took a charging penalty in the final minute to give Phoenix a power play that carried into the extra session.

The Coyotes failed to cash in, and Doan was whistled off for charging at the 2:34 mark of overtime to give Florida a 4-on-3 skating advantage.

Jokinen took full advantage, blasting a shot from just above the right circle past Boucher high on the glove side for the winner.

"It was a microcosm of our season up to this point," said Coyotes head coach Bob Francis. "Weird bounces, different calls and different scenarios. Unfortunately we found a way to be self destructive toward the end."

The Coyotes appeared to be in control after scoring twice in just over two minutes to grab a 4-2 lead with about 2 1/2 minutes to play in the third period.

Kolnik, though, took a feed from Jokinen and netted his eighth goal of the season with 1:47 left, flipping a shot home from the low left circle.

The Panthers then pulled Shields for an extra attacker and the strategy paid off immediately. Kolnik raced after the puck in the right corner and fed a pass to the slot for Van Ryn, who snapped a wrister past Boucher on the stick side.

"I was just trying to get in the play because we were behind," said Van Ryn. "I had missed the net a whole bunch tonight, so it was nice that it finally went in."

Florida held a 2-1 lead midway through the second period, but Gratton scored his eighth goal of the season to tie it for Phoenix. Mara kept the puck in at the right point on a power play and fed it across to the left point for Doan, who quickly spotted Gratton alone in the right circle. Gratton wasted no time and ripped a a one-timer through Shields' pads.

The Coyotes appeared to take the lead late in the second, although a delayed penalty was about to be called against them. Florida's Kristian Huselius had the puck in the Phoenix zone near the blue line and Shields left the ice for an extra attacker. Huselius then lost control of the puck, which slid helplessly into the empty Florida cage.

However, Huselius had his stick whacked by a Phoenix defender, forcing him to lose control, and the referees disallowed the goal.

"I knew the rule and while I wasn't comfortable that was the way it was going to end up I knew the rule," said Panthers head coach Rick Dudley. "I have seen it before, but it was a pretty close one."

The tight-checking third period finally erupted with the first of four goals with 4:35 remaining.

Mara scored his fourth to ignite it, backhanding home a shot from the low slot after taking a pass from Gratton.

Langkow then scored his 15th just 2:14 later. Doan carried the puck through the left circle and dropped a pass for a trailing Langkow, who snapped a shot into a half-empty net. Shields had no chance after being run into by one of his own teammates.

The Coyotes grabbed a 1-0 lead just 4:27 into the game on Cleary's fourth goal of the season, but Florida tied it just 1:16 later on Jokinen's first of the contest.

Beaudoin put Florida ahead at 3:04 of the second when his shot from the right circle deflected off the stick of a Phoenix defenseman before going past Boucher.

Game Notes

The Coyotes posted a 2-1 win at Florida on October 15, and are 2-0-1-1 in their last four games against the Panthers...Phoenix fell to just 2-6-2-2 in its new building...Huselius, Mathieu Biron and Valeri Bure each had two assists for Florida.

02/05 02:03:38 ET


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