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Thursday, March 20th (All times Eastern)

Florida Panthers (26-35-8) at Phoenix Coyotes (33-25-11), 10 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Phoenix Coyotes hope to boost their playoff chances with a third straight victory when they welcome the Florida Panthers for Thursday's clash at Jobing.com Arena.

With 77 points, the Coyotes are occupying the final playoff berth in the Western Conference. Phoenix, however, is just two points ahead of Dallas for the second of the West's two wild card spots and the Stars, who hold a game in hand over the Coyotes, are playing Thursday in Philadelphia.

In addition to winning its last two outings, Phoenix has posted victories in four of five and six of its past eight games. The Coyotes are attempting to get back to the postseason after missing the playoffs last season for the first time since 2009.

Phoenix last played on Monday when it edged the Los Angeles Kings on the road. Jeff Halpern scored the game-winner with 3:05 left in the third period to propel the Coyotes to the 4-3 decision at Staples Center.

With the game tied 3-3 late in the third, a Phoenix counterattack saw a blocked shot ricochet into the left circle, where Halpern was waiting all alone. With Jonathan Quick scrambling following the change of direction, Halpern threw a shot on net that the LA netminder appeared to stop from his back before making another incredible save on the rebound attempt to keep the game tied.

However, at the next stoppage, video review showed Halpern's shot fully cross the goal line before Quick's stick knocked it back into play.

"We have the headset on the bench so we got a call from our video guy saying the puck was in so we were just hoping for the right call," Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett said of Halpern's marker.

Mike Smith, who finished with 36 saves, stood tall the rest of the way to help the Coyotes pick up the valuable win. Keith Yandle notched a goal and an assist, while Rob Klinkhammer and Mikkel Boedker each scored once for Phoenix.

It was the third win in four road games for the Coyotes, who will open a two- game homestand tonight. Phoenix is 20-11-3 as the home club this season and also will host Boston on Saturday.

Phoenix has won two straight and four of its last five games against the Panthers, but Florida has earned a split over its past four trips to the desert.

Although the Panthers are 16 points out of a playoff spot in the East, they have won two of their last three tilts and opened a four-game road trip with Tuesday's surprising win at San Jose.

Roberto Luongo was the star for the Panthers in San Jose, making 53 saves as the Florida Panthers took a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.

Luongo is 3-2-1 with a 2.48 goals against average and .928 save percentage in six games since coming back to the Panthers in a trade with Vancouver before the deadline. The 34-year-old also played with Florida from 2000-06 and Tuesday's performance marked the fifth time he posted 50 or more saves in a Panthers sweater.

Brandon Pirri had a goal and an assist while Scottie Upshall and Quinton Howden also lit the lamp for the Panthers, who entered the game having lost four of five.

Pirri has three goals and four assists in eight games since Florida general manager Dale Tallon picked him up from Chicago for a pair of draft picks at the trade deadline. The 22-year-old forward was a second-round pick by the Blackhawks in 2009.

"I was fortunate enough that Dale believed in me, and I want to prove him right," said Pirri.

Florida, which will complete its road trip with a stops in Los Angeles and Anaheim, is just 13-20-3 as the visiting team this season.

03/20 10:49:09 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
STJ 68
DUKE 77
Final
NCSU 78
ND 81
7:00pm Tonight
NCCU
DELST
 
7:00pm Tonight
UNC
SYR
 
Final
CHI 84
MIA 96
Final
CLE 108
OKC 98
Final
NOP 109
DAL 106
Final
ORL 99
IND 106
Final
PHO 100
LAC 120
Final
ATL 112
MIN 100
Final
TOR 114
DET 110
Final
SAN 101
MIL 95
Final
GSW 114
BOS 111
Final
DEN 115
WAS 117
Final
LAL 87
HOU 99
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
POR
 
7:30pm Tonight
NYK
SAC
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
MIN
 
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MEM
ORL
 
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NOP
PHI
 
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UTA
BOS
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
DEN
 
Final
UCONN 66
SFLA 53
Final
GT 62
BC 64
Final
VT 47
UVA 50
Final
OSU 82
IND 70
Final
UCF 46
CIN 56
Final
WICHS 74
DRAK 40
Final
STJ 68
DUKE 77
Final
MAR 73
FAIR 67
 
Final
HART 61
MAINE 70
 
Final
MAN 71
MON 64
 
Final
PRIN 96
ROWAN 48
 
Final
SIENA 55
PETE 69
 
Final
RIU 53
BONA 48
Final
BING 54
USB 61
 
Final
MLOWELL 50
VERM 61
 
Final
BUT 77
SHU 57
Final
SALA 55
YALE 72
 
Final
PITT 68
LOU 80
Final
ILLST 53
NIOWA 54
Final
GTDNS 69
UMBC 55
 
Final
IONA 87
NIAG 64
 
Final
TENST 55
BEL 63
 
Final
NCSU 78
ND 81
Final
VILL 71
CREI 50
Final
MD 68
NW 67
Final
UTAH 77
WASH 56
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AMER
ARMY
 
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OU
CLST
 
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NCCU
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MVSU
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Final
TEAMFOLI 12
TEAMTOEWS 17
Final
CARTER 28
IRVIN 32