The Arizona Coyotes continued their five-game road trip with a 3-2 loss against the Florida Panthers in their third consecutive one-goal defeat.
The Arizona Coyotes embarked on a season-defining road trip at the beginning of the week and the road trip has not gone in the way of the Coyotes as they continued their hardship by dropping their third straight one-goal game on Thursday night against the Florida Panthers. Worse of all is that all three of these one-goal defeats have been games settled in regulation where the Coyotes have yet to register a point.
Aleksander Barkov had missed six consecutive games following a head injury in the Panthers’ Feb. 8th game against the Detroit Red Wings, but rebounded strongly to score two of the Panthers three goals against the Arizona Coyotes.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored from the right circle with 5:43 left in the third period. For the third consecutive game the Arizona Coyotes were able to cut their deficit from two goals to one goal in the third period, but yet again they were unable to find the equalizer.
Worst of all was the fact that the Coyotes managed to pull ahead to a 1-0 lead in the early-going behind a goal from Shane Doan. Doan’s goal was a team-high 23rd goal on the season. It was also Doan’s 12th first period goal of the season.
The Panthers (35-18-7, 77 points) maintained their five-point lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic division. The Coyotes (27-28-6, 60 points) lost to the Lightning on Tuesday night.
The Coyotes are rapidly losing ground in the Western Conference playoff picture as they will begin Friday, February 26th eight points behind Colorado for the second wild card spot. The Vancouver Canucks have also tied the Coyotes in the standings and now poise a threat as another team the Coyotes will have to leapfrog if they are to make a run at the playoffs.
With the NHL trade deadline just three days away, the Arizona Coyotes very well could become sellers now. Before the past three games the Coyotes were just four points out of the playoffs, but after a rough week, the Coyotes may just be on the brink of moving some players.
The Coyotes will be back in action on Saturday night when they head to Philadelphia to play the Flyers at Wells Fargo Arena. Puck drop will be at 11 a.m. MST with the Coyotes looking to bounce-back from yet another one-goal defeat.