Tkachuk’s hat trick lifts Panthers over Coyotes 5-3

Jan 3, 2023, 4:59 AM | Updated: 7:45 pm

Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad (5) pushes Arizona Coyotes center Laurent Dauphin (26) out...

Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad (5) pushes Arizona Coyotes center Laurent Dauphin (26) out of the way as goaltender Spencer Knight, right rear, makes a save during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, in Sunrise, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Matthew Tkachuk recorded his first hat trick as a member of the Florida Panthers as he helped lead his team to a 5-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night.

Tkachuk was acquired over the summer in a trade in which Calgary received Florida stars Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar in return. His third goal added to his team lead with 20.

Florida also got a pair of goals from Eric Staal and 33 saves from Spencer Knight to end a two-game skid.

“We needed these two points more than anything because we’re not in the world’s greatest position,” Tkachuk said. “We may not have had our best stuff, but we answered their goals. The guys were working, and it was good to see.”

The Coyotes, which fell behind 2-0 but tied the score twice in the second period, had goals from Jakob Chychrun, Clayton Keller and Nick Bjugstad.

Karel Vejmelka made 32 stops as Arizona lost a second consecutive game.

Tkachuk got the Panthers started 1:09 into the game by knocking in a puck from close range. Just over 10 minutes later, Staal made it 2-0.

The first goal from Arizona came on a power play with 2.1 seconds remaining in the opening period from Chychrun.

Keller tied it at 2 at 5:17 of the second with a terrific backhanded shot that sliced through traffic.

Florida and Arizona traded goals (Tkachuk and Bjugstad) before Staal gave the Panthers a lead at 4-3 they would not give up at 16:01 of the second.

“We knew how good they actually were,” Bjugstad said. “We knew we had to come with a good foot forward. We had enough juice but need to clean some things up. But that is a good team which was hungry and hungrier than us tonight.”

Tkachuk’s third goal came on the power play as he followed up his own rebound, putting a loose puck past Vejmelka with 31 seconds left in the period.

“We had some good offensive finish,” Florida coach Paul Maurice said, “and when they tied the score in the second, we got better. We gave them two goals but did not break at that point. You have to be careful with how you measure yourself in a negative way when it comes to (Arizona): They just beat Colorado, L.A. and put up six on Toronto. We hit them at their peak on two days rest. It was a good win.”

NOTES: Of the five skaters in the Arizona starting lineup Tuesday night, four had ties to the South Florida area. Bjugstad and Lawson Crouse once played for the Panthers; Chychrun and Shayne Gostisbehere grew up in South Florida and played for the Jr. Panthers in their younger years. Chychrun’s father Jeff worked the game as a member of the Panthers’ television broadcast team. … Liam O’Brien and Matias Maccelli remained out of the Arizona lineup due to injury with Zack Kassian being a healthy scratch. Florida scratched Matt Kiersted and Zac Dalpe. … Knight recorded his first NHL point by getting the secondary assist on Tkachuk’s third goal Tuesday. … The hat trick from Tkachuk was the second for the Panthers in their past four games with Aleksander Barkov getting one against Montreal on Dec. 29.


Coyotes: At Philadelphia on Thursday night.

Panthers: At Detroit on Friday night.


AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

Tkachuk’s hat trick lifts Panthers over Coyotes 5-3