Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Florida Panthers

Panthers News

Panthers Wrap-Up: Blues 4, Panthers 1

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers
1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 1 0 0 0 1
BLUES 1 1 2 0 4
FLA - M. Santorelli (3)

STL - D. Backes (5), C. Porter (1), K. Russell (4), D. Backes (6)
ST. LOUIS (AP) - David Backes scored twice, Jaroslav Halak stopped 20 shots and the St. Louis Blues beat the Florida Panthers 4-1 on Thursday night.

Chris Porter had his first goal of the season and Kris Russell added his second with St. Louis as the Blues finished a 4-0-1 homestand under new coach Ken Hitchcock, off to the best start in club history. Leo Boivin (1976) and Jacques Demers (1984) each started 4-1.

"We look sloppy and slow when we're not engaged in the game. We had our opportunities, but didn't do enough to realistically win. We've come back before, settled down after bad stretches but didn't do that. In the third, they were very hungry. They smelled that we were trying an easier way to win. That doesn't work for us."

- Head coach Kevin Dineen to the Miami Herald.
1. Turnovers The Key Early: The Panthers and Blues traded momentum and it was turnovers that caused the game's first three goals (all came unassisted). Unfortunately for Florida, they made the extra turnover through the first forty minutes. A turnover in the Panthers zone allowed David Backes to score the game's first goal 6:04 into the contest. Mike Santorelli was then able to steal the puck and tie the game at one with his third of the season 13:07 into the first period. A misplay by the Panthers defensemen along the boards behind the goal line allowed Chris Porter to give the Blues the lead again 5:48 into the second as he scored on a wrist shot.

2. Offensive Shutdown: The Panthers entered Thursday night's contest having won their last four road games by a combined score of 19-5. Saint Louis had other plans for the high powered offense as they clogged the middle, the boards and everywhere else and put hits on the Panthers whenever they could. That got the Panthers out of their rhythm early and often and it didn't look like Florida ever really got comfortable at Scottrade Center. Florida was only able to muster 21 shots on net and Jaroslav Halak was good when he had to be. The Blues outhit Florida 24-10 in the contest and blocked four more shots (16-12).

3. Streak Ends: Failing to light the lamp, the Panthers push to tie a franchise record of five straight road victories came up one short with the loss. Florida's victories away from the BankAtlantic Center were pretty impressive with at least five goals in the last three games. But it's true what they say. All good things must come to an end. Florida still ended the night with the most wins away from home in the league (seven). To compare to last season, it took Florida until December 9th to record seven wins (16 games played).
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@srgrossman: I'm gonna pretend this game didn't happen and still smile from ear to ear about the Dallas game from the other night. Go Cats! #FlaPanthers

@Van_Murph: Ice packs all around. The #FlaPanthers got absolutely smashed tonight. We need to hit... And hit some more.

@grueknowwho: Well how did that happen? :( #FlaPanthers just weren't their usual selves tonight

@Vickey_G: Even after tonight's loss I'm still REALLY excited about Saturday's @FlaPanthers game!!!!! #WeSeeRed #GoCatsGo

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Thomas Ouillette: Disappointing. Ah well. NEXT!!!!!!

Marcos Rodriguez: It's always the same crap with these damn Blues. We can never win against them. We couldn't even get in the damn zone for a set up damn man.

Eikki Mägi: Where is our physical play? We got outhit big and that was the turn of game..

Dan Glassford: Even in this shape there's still some positives. Dadonov strong. Kulikov playing strong. But lack of physical play and poor puck control did us bad. We're still gonna get the Pens anyways. Go Cats!

Adam Hernandez: And that's game, sloppy sloppy play early and their D shut us down nasty tough Loss but we must move on. On to the next one don't lose hope Panther nation!

0. For the third consecutive game, the Panthers failed to score a power play goal. Despite three chances (including one on a major penalty that resulted in three minutes), the Panthers could not find the back of the net. Saint Louis' power play wasn't any better as they failed to score on three opportunities as well.

The game finished with five goals. Four of them went unassisted as Kris Russell's third period goal to make it 3-1 was the only one to garner helpers with Vladimir Sobotka and Jamie Langenbrunner picking up the assists.

6. The Panthers and Blues had a "feeling out" period of sorts in the opening 20 minutes as both teams registered just six shots on net.

Defenseman Jason Garrison led all Panthers with 30 shifts on the night, two more then fellow blueliner Brian Campbell. The Blues on the other hand had three players with at least 30 shifts, including two forwards. Defenseman Alex Pietrangelo had a game-high 33 shifts while forward David Backes finished with 31 and Alex Steen recorded 30 shifts.

Playing mostly wing this season, Tomas Kopecky was pressed into center duties due to injuries. He didn't look out of place, especially in the face-off circle as he won 70% of his draws (7-of-10).
David Backes
David Backes scored the game's first and last (empty netter) goals in leading the Blues to their fourth win in five games under new head coach Ken Hitchcock.

2 Goals, +2, 5 Shots
The Panthers return home for four straight over Thanksgiving Week. First up is the Pittsburgh Penguins who have gone 11-5-3 for 25 points in their first 18 games of the season and are tied with Philadelphia atop the Atlantic Division. While good on the road, Florida looks to transition that to the home ice as they are just 2-2-3 at the BankAtlantic Center. The Penguins who lost 4-1 to Tampa Bay on Thursday night are led by a high-powered offense (55 goals - seventh best in the league) by James Neal (20 points), Kris Letang (16 points), Jordan Staal (15 points) and Evgeni Malkin (14 points).

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

View More