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Panthers Wrap-Up: Blues 7, Panthers 0

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers

1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 0 0 0 0 0
Blues 1 4 2 0 7
STL - PPG - B. Morrow (1), V. Tarasenko (1), J. Schwartz (1), D. Roy (1), PS - A. Steen (2), R. Reaves (1), P. Berglund (1)

ST. LOUIS, MO —  (AP) - It was just a matter of time until the veteran line of Derek Roy, Brenden Morrow and Chris Stewart would begin to click for the St. Louis Blues.

It took two games, and the trio paved the way for another Blues victory. Then, the line of Vladimir Tarasenko, Jaden Schwartz and Patrik Berglund wanted in on the fun..

"I think our power play was a downer for us tonight. We didn't rebound off a couple of good shifts. We were hanging on for dear life and got outplayed in every aspect of the game."

- Head coach Kevin Dineen following the game.
1. Power Outage: The Panthers had their chances early, thanks to three Blues penalties within the first 11:16 of the game but St Louis suffocated the Florida power play units. After two full power plays, Florida's third was cut short and then the Blues got their own power play and converted to take a 1-0 lead thanks to Brenden Morrow with 6:02 remaining in the opening period. Florida had a fourth power play in the second period but just like the first three, the St Louis penalty kill units didn't allow much of anything. In fact, Florida went without a shot in the 6:21 of power play time despite some good movement on a couple of the opportunities.

2. Turnover Goals: A close game quickly got out of hand as the Blues struck within a 2:36 span and it was thanks to Panthers turnovers. First it was Erik Gudbranson being stripped of the puck behind the net and then Jaden Schwartz sending the puck to the crease where Tim Thomas couldn't corral the puck and Vladimir Tarasenko batted the loose puck past the goaltender 12:31 into the second. Then a Tom Gilbert clearing pass was intercepted by Vladimir Sobotka who found Schwartz for a 3-0 Blues lead. 

3. Out Of Hand: The Panthers said how they liked the fight in the final pre-season game and the first regular season game on Thursday as they came back but Saturday was different as St Louis has been a house of horrors for the Panthers. A 3-0 lead quickly turned to 5-0 before the second period was out as Derek Roy scored 1:05 after Schwartz's goal and then Alex Steen made it a five-goal advantage with a penalty shot goal with 57 seconds remaining in the period, deking Thomas for the goal. Florida put in Jacob Markstrom in the third but the Blues kept scoring as Ryan Reaves and Patrik Berglund scored twice in the first 4:09 of the third. With the game out of hand, tempers flared as six players were given 10 minute misconducts and left the game early and another two got into a fight (Kris Versteeg and Schwartz).
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@FlaBoi6: Tough night for the @FlaPanthers but it still early. Looking forward to see how they rebound from this. @LindsayBHockey #Catsare20

@dsilv_tsd: Tough loss for the @FlaPanthers tonight against the @StLouisBlues Don't worry boys, we'll stick it to the @NHLFlyers on Tuesday. #GOCATS

@BiZMASTY: Friday, November 1st is going to be an interesting game! Blues at @FlaPanthers

@305MiamiTeams: #FlaPanthers will regroup from tonight. Very ugly loss indeed, but the only thing you can do is move on. Just the 2nd game of the season.

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Gunther Schenk: Ouch. Focus on the next two games. Hoping for us to be 3-1 for the home opener.

Mark Zola: Didn't watch the game..thank god I didn't...I'm going to pretend Tuesdays game is the second game of the season....don't lets that happen again Cats

Tyler Vandekamp Jones: its a tough loss but im sure the cats will bounce back next game

Mike Baker: Ugh. Quite a letdown from the Dallas game

2. Florida had their chances, especially on the power play, given seven power play chances but the Blues did a great job in allowing just two shots on net during the 12:21 of power play time.

4. Up 1-0, St Louis struck for four goals in a span of 6:32 of the second period to put the game out of hand. Vladimir Tarasenko, Jaden Schwartz, Derek Roy and Alex Steen all scored. 

The Panthers killed off a four-on-three power play and a 5-on-3 power play and looked like they were going to kill off the rest of the 5-on-4 opportunity but Brendan Morrow scored with seven seconds remaining in a Shawn Matthias hooking penalty to take a 1-0 lead in the first period.

The shot count was identical for the clubs in the first two periods. In each of the periods, St Louis finished with 14 shots while Florida ended each period with six shots. 

Thanks in large part to an out-of-hand third period, the Panthers and Blues combined for 100 penalty minutes in the game. In the third period alone, the two combined for 86 minutes. Krys Barch, Erik Gudbranson and Jessie Winchester for Florida and Chris Stewart, Ryan Reaves and David Backes were all assessed 10 minuted misconducts and sent to the locker room early.

Jaden Schwartz
Halak picked up the shutout (19 saves) but Schwartz really provided for the hosts, helping in setting up the second goal and then scoring the third to really put the game out of hand.

1 Goal, 2 Assists, 3 Points, +3, 13:27 TOI
Florida will have two days off to regroup and focus on their next game where they will travel to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers. Florida won both games in Philadelphia last season, winning 3-2 in a shootout and 5-2 within a two week span. The Flyers are still searching for their first victory of the season, having scored just a goal in each of their first two games, a 3-1 defeat to Toronto on Wednesday and a 4-1 loss to Montreal Saturday night.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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