Panthers hand Blues 3-1 loss

Friday, January 13, 2006

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Florida Panthers needed about 10 minutes to shake off the rust of a few days off.

After being outshot 9-1 over the first half of the opening period, the Panthers took a 2-0 lead on goals by Olli Jokinen and Joe Nieuwendyk on their way to a 3-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.

"We wanted to set the tone and go after those guys, but it was our first game in three or four days, maybe that was the case," Jokinen said. "We were able to get a two-goal lead."

Nathan Horton also scored for the Panthers, who are 8-1-1 in their last 10 at home.

Rookie Kevin Dallman scored his first NHL goal for the Blues. St. Louis, which has the worst record in the league, has lost four straight and scored a total of two goals in its last three games.

"At least we got chances," said Blues wing Scott Young. "When you're not getting chances, that's really bad. We showed signs of life tonight."

Florida goalie Roberto Luongo, starting despite tendinitis in his right ankle, stopped 35 shots. Curtis Sanford made 30 saves for St. Louis.

The Panthers took a 1-0 lead with 5:01 left when Jokinen beat Sanford with a turnaround wrist shot from the faceoff circle.

Nieuwendyk made it 2-0 about two minutes later when he tipped in Jozef Stumpel's perfect pass across the crease.

Dallman closed the gap to 2-1 with a power-play goal with 9:14 remaining in the second when he skated in from the side of the net and banged in a loose puck.

Horton restored Florida's lead to two goals with a wrist shot from the slot in the second, snapping a personal 10-game scoreless streak.

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