SUNRISE, Fla. (AP)—Pavol Demitra never hesitated on his breakaway in overtime.
“I’ve got only two moves,” said Demitra, who also scored in the first period to tie the score at 1. “I didn’t have much of a choice. … The report on him is he’s a butterfly goalie and lately he’s been playing very well. I just tried to hit the net as hard as I could.”
The victory was St. Louis’ seventh in overtime this season, setting a franchise record. The Blues are 7-1-6 in overtime.
“We’ve been fortunate and won a lot of tight games this year,” Blues coach Joel Quenneville said. “Late in games or overtime, we have some guys who have that playmaking ability and skill. They are going for it, too.”
The Blues also snapped a three-game road losing streak. They hadn’t won away from home since beating Columbus on Dec. 29.
Olli Jokinen scored for Florida, which has only one victory in its last 12 games against St. Louis (1-9-2).
“They’ve been on the top of the league for a number of years now,” Luongo said. “That’s not an easy team to beat whether we’re at home or on the road.”
Blues goaltender Chris Osgood finished with 21 saves, improving to 12-1-5 in 20 career games against Florida.
“I know when I played with the Islanders, I had a pretty good record against them,” Osgood said. “Tampa Bay is the same thing. The state has been good to me. This building, I like playing in. You’d think places like Toronto or something, but for some reason I like this building.”
Luongo, who made an NHL season-high 50 saves in a 2-1 victory over Tampa Bay on Saturday night, stopped 32 shots for the Panthers.
Demitra scored the game-winner after he stole the puck in the neutral zone from Florida defenseman Mike Van Ryn, who spent parts of three seasons with the Blues before being traded last March.
“I should have taken the body instead of the puck,” Van Ryn said. “That was a good play by him, I guess. He’s not a very good guy to turn the puck over to, that’s for sure.”
Demitra got his 500th NHL point on his first goal when his cross-ice pass on a two-on-one went off the left skate of a sliding Van Ryn and through Luongo’s legs.
Jokinen opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 9:05 of the first period when his slap shot from the right circle beat Osgood through a screen.
Luongo played well, said Blues wing Scott Mellanby, who served as Florida’s captain for three seasons before being traded to St. Louis in the 2000-01 season.
“They worked hard and made it tough,” he said. “It was a mucking kind ofgame. I’m sure it was not entertaining to watch.”
Florida lost for only the second time in its last 10 home games (5-2-3). … St. Louis has held Florida to eight goals in the last nine meetings. … RW Viktor Kozlov, Florida’s third-leading scorer, missed the game because of a broken toe sustained in Saturday’s victory against Tampa Bay. Kozlov is day-to-day. … After being a healthy scratch the last two games, St. Louis C Ryan Johnson was in the lineup against his former team. … In their only other meeting this season, the Blues beat Florida 2-0 on Nov. 8 in Mike Keenan’s last game as Panthers coach. … Florida recalled LW Eric Beaudoin from San Antonio of the AHL. … Florida rookie C Nathan Horton will not have surgery Tuesday as originally planned. Doctors instead recommended a rehabilitation program for his injured shoulder, but did not give an estimateon how long Horton would be sidelined.