NHL Game Summary - Phoenix at Florida
(Saturday, February 10th)
Final Score: Florida 5, Phoenix 2
Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) - Olli Jokinen's goal and assist helped the Florida Panthers defeat the Phoenix Coyotes, 5-2, at BankAtlantic Center.
Nathan Horton, Martin Gelinas, and Chris Gratton also registered one goal and one assist for the Panthers, who snapped a three-game slide. Ed Belfour stopped 23 shots to post his 14th win of the season and the 471st of his career.
Fredrik Sjostrom and Keith Ballard scored for the Coyotes, who have lost two straight and three of four. Curtis Joseph took the loss despite making 25 saves. Mikael Tellqvist stopped eight of nine shots in a relief effort.
"We played better defense," said Jokinen. "We didn't give up that many chances. They had about 13 shots after two periods. We capitalized on our chances. It was a good, solid team game for 60 minutes."
Florida took a 1-0 lead midway through the first, as Horton's uncontested wraparound beat Joseph cleanly. Horton gained control of the puck after Gelinas tipped Allen's initial point shot wide and behind the net.
Jokinen made it 2-0 at 12:39 by poking home a puck which caromed off the back boards right to the captain on the right-wing side.
It was 3-0 for the Panthers with 5:51 left in the second, when Gary Roberts swerved past two Phoenix checkers inside the offensive zone and tucked a shot through Joseph's pads for his 13th goal of the season.
The Panthers thoroughly outchanced, outplayed and outshot the Coyotes 27-13 through the first 40 minutes, and their domination would continue in the final period.
Gelinas upped the lead to 4-0, scoring on his third chance to whack at a loose puck in the low slot, and it spelled the end of Joseph's night in favor of Tellqvist.
Phoenix finally broke through with 6:41 played in the third, as Sjostrom followed up his own rebound by snaking a shot through Belfour and a Panthers defenseman's leg.
Only 35 seconds later, Gratton restored the four-goal margin with his ninth of the season for a 5-1 Florida lead.
Ballard responded for the Coyotes and closed out the scoring on the power play with a nifty deflection of Michalek's right point drive with 3:57 to play.
"First period was pretty much the story of the entire game," said Coyotes head coach Wayne Gretzky. "Their hockey team really came out hard. They were on the puck, played physical, they moved the puck. We kind of got in a pattern of standing around and when you stand around you take penalties. They were skating and we weren't and that was the difference in the hockey game."
Phoenix is 3-2-1 in the last five meetings dating back to January, 2002...There are 913 NHL wins combined between Joseph and Belfour...Gratton's goal was the 200th of his career...Both teams finished 1-of-5 with the man advantage.
02/10 23:39:39 ET