Elliott, Steen Lead Blues To 4-0 Win Over Panthers

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St. Louis Blues v Florida Panthers
Florida Panthers Partying Like It's 1996
SUNRISE, Fla. ( – If you look at the calendar it says December 2011, but the Florida Panthers are playing the best hockey South Florida has seen since the mid-1990’s. The Panthers will look to continue their winning ways Monday night when they welcome in the Washington Capitals to the Bank Atlantic Center. The Capitals are currently in second-place in the Southeast Division, but are quickly losing view of the first place Panthers. Florida is 14-8-4 on the season and has 32 points to lead the NHL’s Southeast Division. The team is 6-3-1 in its late ten games and has lost only twice at home this season. With the recent success, fans are even starting to bring back a tradition not seen since the Panthers made a run at the Stanley Cup. Fans have been tossing a few rats on the ice despite the league outlawing the rats after Florida’s 1996 Stanley Cup Finals appearance. "I think there's really a lot of belief in our locker room right now," Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen told the Panthers website. "Two games now, we got down a goal in the first two minutes and we readjusted from there. It was a really solid all-around effort from our special teams to our goaltending. It was a good hockey game." The game will also be a matchup of Florida’s former goalie, Tomas Vokoun, against his replacement, Jose Theodore. Washington will be looking to snap a streak of very poor play as of late. The Capitals are just 3-7 in their last 10 games.

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Brian Elliott stopped 31 shots for his first win of the season, and Alexander Steen scored for the sixth straight game as the St. Louis Blues beat the Florida Panthers 4-0 on Friday night.

Alex Pietrangelo, Chris Stewart and Derek Roy added goals, and Steen posted his NHL-leading 12th this season. David Backes had two assists for St. Louis, which won its third straight.

Elliott hadn’t earned a win since April 27 against Chicago. His previous shutout was April 11 at Minnesota.

Jacob Markstrom made 19 saves for Florida, which lost for the fifth time in six games.

Already ahead 1-0, the Blues broke the game open with three goals in just over five minutes in the second period.

St. Louis doubled its lead on Stewart’s goal. Barret Jackman passed from the point to Stewart below the left circle for an angled shot from the side that got past Markstrom at 5:21.

The Blues stretched their lead to 3-0 with a power-play goal by Pietrangelo at 7:06. A drive by Backes was blocked by Markstrom, but Pietrangelo tipped in the rebound.

Steen finished the scoring when he wristed in a rebound at 10:42.

Roy put the Blues ahead in the first period with a backhander from the slot that hit the right post, bounced out, hit Markstrom’s pads and drifted back across the goal line with 4:19 left in the first.

NOTES: Blues C Maxim Lapierre returned after serving a five-game suspension for a hit on San Jose’s Dan Boyle on Oct. 15. … The Blues played an NHL-low 10 games in October but will play 15 in November. … The Panthers have lost four straight to the Blues, including a 7-0 rout on Oct. 5. …Florida went 1-3-2 on a season-high, six game homestand.

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