A bad line change proved costly as Florida was penalized for having too many men on the ice with 54 seconds left. On the Blues’ only power play of the game, Weight whipped a slap shot from the top of the left faceoff circle past goaltender Jani Hurme for his 15th goal of the season and third game-winner.
“(Cory) Stillman showed a lot of poise getting the puck to me,” Weight said. “I just tried to miss his pads. I don’t know what it hit, but it felt really good when I realized it went. It was two big points for us.”
“It’s our own fault,” Florida coach Mike Keenan said. “We gave them the points. We played hard, we played well. But we made the critical mistake and they took advantage of it.”
After 50 scoreless minutes, the pace picked up midway through the final period. Weight recorded an assist when Eric Boguniecki fought off a check from rookie defenseman Jay Bouwmeester in the low slot and, with his back to the net, swiped the puck past Hurme’s right skate with 9:02 remaining.
The lead lasted just 2:06 as Denis Shvidki tied it on the power play with his third goal of the season and first since March 16, the date of the Panthers’ last win. It came after former Panther Ryan Johnson received a double-minor for high-sticking.
“He looked great tonight, very composed and confident,” Weight said of Johnson. “He’s working hard, he’s a great goalie.”
St. Louis is 7-3-1 in its last 11 games and has won five of seven to remain tied with Colorado for fourth place in the Western Conference. The top four seeds receive home-ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.
“Everyone worked hard. We needed the two points,” rookie defenseman Barret Jackman said. “It was huge in the scheme of things going down the stretch.”
Despite outshooting St. Louis, 17-7, in the third period, the Panthers have scored just five goals during a five-game losing streak and have dropped seven of eight.
“We’re still not scoring many goals,” Keenan said. “The thing we don’t do enough of is going to the net hard. You need to go to the net to score.”
“It’s tough to say,” winger Marcus Nilson added. “If we knew why we haven’t been scoring, we would address that. It just hasn’t been going our way as far as getting the puck in the net. That’s something we have to work on.”
Hurme made 24 saves but is 0-6-1 since January 2.