SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- Pavol Demitra never hesitated on his breakaway in
Demitra beat Roberto Luongo with a wrist shot low to the stick side to give
the St. Louis Blues a 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Monday.
"I've got only two moves," said Demitra, who also scored in the first
period to tie the score at 1. "I didn't have much of a choice. ... The report
on him is he's a butterfly goalie and lately he's been playing very well. I
just tried to hit the net as hard as I could."
The victory was St. Louis' seventh in overtime this season, setting a
franchise record. The Blues are 7-1-6 in overtime.
"We've been fortunate and won a lot of tight games this year," Blues coach
Joel Quenneville said. "Late in games or overtime, we have some guys who have
that playmaking ability and skill. They are going for it, too."
The Blues also snapped a three-game road losing streak. They hadn't won away
from home since beating Columbus on Dec. 29.
Olli Jokinen scored for Florida, which has only one victory in its last 12
games against St. Louis (1-9-2).
"They've been on the top of the league for a number of years now," Luongo
said. "That's not an easy team to beat whether we're at home or on the road."
Blues goaltender Chris Osgood finished with 21 saves, improving to 12-1-5 in
20 career games against Florida.
"I know when I played with the Islanders, I had a pretty good record
against them," Osgood said. "Tampa Bay is the same thing. The state has been
good to me. This building, I like playing in. You'd think places like Toronto
or something, but for some reason I like this building."
Luongo, who made an NHL season-high 50 saves in a 2-1 victory over Tampa Bay
on Saturday night, stopped 32 shots for the Panthers.
Demitra scored the game-winner after he stole the puck in the neutral zone
from Florida defenseman Mike Van Ryn, who spent parts of three seasons with the
Blues before being traded last March.
"I should have taken the body instead of the puck," Van Ryn said. "That
was a good play by him, I guess. He's not a very good guy to turn the puck over
to, that's for sure."
Demitra got his 500th NHL point on his first goal when his cross-ice pass on
a two-on-one went off the left skate of a sliding Van Ryn and through Luongo's
Jokinen opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 9:05 of the first
period when his slap shot from the right circle beat Osgood through a screen.
Luongo played well, said Blues wing Scott Mellanby, who served as Florida's
captain for three seasons before being traded to St. Louis in the 2000-01
"They worked hard and made it tough," he said. "It was a mucking kind of
game. I'm sure it was not entertaining to watch."