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game recap

Panthers defeat Blues for fifth straight win

Vincent Trocheck's goal with 4.6 seconds left completes perfect road trip

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

ST. LOUIS -- A long offensive zone cycle enabled the Florida Panthers to sweep a five-game road trip for the first time in their history.

Vincent Trocheck scored with 4.6 seconds remaining to give the Panthers a 2-1 win against the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center on Monday.

Trocheck scored from the high slot with traffic in front on a shot Blues goalie Jake Allen never saw to give Florida (28-20-10) its eighth win in nine games.

 

WATCH: All Panthers vs. Blues highlights

 

Jonathan Marchessault also scored for the Panthers, and James Reimer made 26 saves.

According to Elias Sports Bureau, it's the latest the Panthers have ever scored a goal in regulation to win.

"It was just a strong cycling down low by Jussi [Jokinen] and [Reilly Smith]," Trocheck said. "They tried to get the puck out, but [Mark] Pysyk made a great play keeping the puck in going down the wall. He threw it up top to me. I took one shot, they blocked it. Got it back, I had a lane. Jussi was in front and I don't think Allen even saw it. I just kind of did the easy work."

Video: FLA@STL: Reimer makes two huge stops from in tight

The Panthers return home for a four-game homestand in third place in the Atlantic Division. They are tied with the Boston Bruins at 66 points apiece, but Florida has played one fewer game.

"First off, I couldn't be more proud," Panthers coach Tom Rowe said. "The coaching staff, everybody that's part of the team, the front office back home. We couldn't be more proud of these players. It's a great group of players and everybody deserves it.

"It's been a long season, it's been a hard season and now everything is coming together but again, we've got a long way to go. It's going to be a dogfight until the end of the season."

Kyle Brodziak scored, and Allen made 31 saves for St. Louis (31-24-5), which has lost back-to-back games and enters a five-day break.

Video: FLA@STL: Brodziak buries juicy rebound past Reimer

"It's terrible. Terrible finish," Allen said. "We needed a win tonight just to have positive momentum into the break. We had a chance, came [up] short."

Allen lamented that the Blues failed to control the puck once in the game's final 41.3 seconds from the moment the Panthers won a faceoff in the Blues zone until Trocheck scored.

"You've got to battle. You've got to get pucks put, pucks in," Allen said. "We had 30 seconds left to salvage a point in a game that we played not good. Those are huge points right now. Couldn't end up with two points and it slipped away."

Marchessault put the Panthers ahead 1-0 at 1:40 of the first period after Kevin Shattenkirk turned the puck over behind the Blues net.

Brodziak tied it 2:54 into the third period when his shot from the slot was deflected in front.

Video: FLA@STL: Allen robs Bjugstad on the doorstep

 
Goal of the game

Marchessault put a quick shot short side past Allen after Shattenkirk tried a quick reverse pass behind the net but didn't get much on it. Nick Bjugstad picked it off and quickly found his teammate in the low slot.

Video: FLA@STL: Marchessault sneaks a shot past Allen

 
Save of the game

Reimer got a bit of a break when Blues center Jori Lehtera directed a point blank pass into the Panthers goalie, but Reimer still had to move quickly from left to right with 12:16 remaining in the second period.

Video: FLA@STL: Reimer makes an incredible pad save in close

 
Highlight of the game

From the moment Trocheck won the faceoff from Brodziak, the Panthers controlled the puck in the Blues zone with cycles and board battles won along walls. They won all the loose pucks, and Pysyk made one final pass to Trocheck for the winner.

Video: FLA@STL: Trocheck tallies late go-ahead goal

 
Unsung performance of the game

Pysyk made four passes and had a key keep-in that led to the game-winning goal. He also blocked two shots in 19:10 of ice time.

 
They said it

"I think we put ourselves in a position where we should have a bad taste in our mouth for a couple of days." -- Blues coach Mike Yeo

 

"We needed it. We know we're in the playoff race. We talked about it before the road trip that these five games were going to be huge for us coming into the playoff race. The fact that we went into California and swept three great teams, then Nashville and St. Louis, also two great teams, so it showed a lot of courage on our team." -- Panthers center Vincent Trocheck

 

"Yeah, it's tough but you shut your mind off, you prepare for a good long stretch to close the season. We're in a big fight for a playoff spot right now. We all realize what's at stake now and we're going to come back after the break with our best foot forward." -- Blues left wing Scottie Upshall

 
Need to know

Blues left wing Alexander Steen played in his 800th NHL regular-season game. ... Marchessault played in his 100th NHL game.

 
What's next

Panthers: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; SN, FS-F, NHL.TV)

Blues: At the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Panthers edge Blues, 2-1, on Trocheck's late goal

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