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Vrbata, Whitney lead Coyotes to win over Panthers

Radim Vrbata and Ray Whitney scored goals to lift the Phoenix Coyotes to a 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night.

The Coyotes won for just the second time in six games.

Mike Smith stopped 19 shots before leaving with 16:31 left in the third period because of a non-contact injury. Jason LaBarbera relieved Smith and made eight saves, including one on a penalty shot.

Brian Campbell scored for the Panthers, and Jose Theodore made 20 saves. It was the first loss in regulation for the Panthers in nine home games. Florida's last 13 home games have been decided by one goal.

Florida was awarded a penalty shot with 24.5 seconds left in the game because several Coyotes players displaced the net. Stephen Weiss' shot was blocked by LaBarbera and stopped at the goal line.

The Coyotes took a 1-0 lead during a 5-on-3 power play in the first period. Oliver Ekman-Larsson passed from above the right circle to Whitney low in the left circle. for a one-timer that beat Theodore at 19:53.

Phoenix stretched its lead to 2-0 on a power-play goal by Vrbata at 9:02 of the second. Keith Yandle passed to Vrbata in the left circle, and his slap shot trickled past Theodore for his team-leading 16th goal.

The Panthers closed to 2-1 when Campbell's shot bounced off the right post, hit Smith on the back, and bounced back into the net with 2:18 left in the second.

Florida's Mikael Samuelsson took a hard check from Phoenix's Shane Doan in the second and lay motionless on the ice for several minutes before being helped off the ice. He didn't return.

NOTES: Florida LW Sean Bergenheim missed the game because of a strained groin ... Florida signed RW Bill Thomas to a one-year, two-way contract. ... Phoenix D Adrian Aucoin is day-to-day with a lower body injury. ... Coyotes D David Schlemko was hit in the face by a puck in the second period. ... The Coyotes are 11-1-1 when leading after the first period.