Matthew Tkachuk scored his first hat trick for the Florida Panthers (17-18-4) as they secure a 5-3 victory against the Arizona Coyotes (13-18-5) on Tuesday night at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Florida.
Coyotes open as underdogs and failed to cover the spread line on all of the AZ sportsbooks. Meanwhile, the total has gone over. Panthers successfully even their regular season series with the Coyotes after dropping their first game last November, 3-1.
Tkachuk Leads the Panthers
After being acquired in a high-profile trade from Calgary Flames earlier in the summer, Matthew Tkachuk has had an impressive start to the season with the Florida Panthers. His three goals against the Coyotes last night were his team’s 20th, making him a vital piece for the team as they go forward.
Both Eric Staal and Spencer Knight put up great performances for Florida with two goals and 33 saves respectively, but it wasn’t quite enough to edge out Calgary this time around. Despite perhaps not being at their best throughout the match, Tkachuk and the Flames managed to answer back every time they were scored upon and ultimately secure the two points they were aiming for.
“We needed these two points more than anything because we’re not in the world’s greatest position,” noted Tkachuk, reflecting on how critical this win was for their overall standing this season.
Second Straight Loss for the Coyotes
The Coyotes put up a fight against their opponents, with Jakob Chychrun, Clayton Keller, and Nick Bjugstad all scoring. Despite Karel Vejmelka’s strong performance in net with 32 saves, it wasn’t enough in facing a “hungrier team” as per Coyotes forward Nick Bjugstad.
“But that’s a hungry team, we knew that coming into it and I don’t think their record reflects how good they actually are,” he stated.
“I didn’t think we had enough juice… That’s a good team that’s hungry, and they were just hungrier than us.”
They managed to overcome a 2-0 deficit but do not have enough answers after that. Although they fought hard to come back twice in the second period to tie the score, Arizona went down in defeat yet again. This pushes the Coyotes to their second consecutive loss.
Arizona Coyotes will visit the hot Philadelphia Flyers (14-17-7) on Thursday as they try to get back in the winning column while the Panthers will travel to Michigan and face the Detroit Red Wings (16-12-7)