Blues 4, Panthers 0

Walter Villa, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The St. Louis Blues routed the Florida Panthers for the second time this season, this time emerging with a 4-0 win Friday night at the BB&T Center.
On Oct. 5 in St. Louis, the Blues beat the Panthers 7-0. In that game, Jaroslav Halak got the shutout and improved his career record against Florida to 8-1, posting a 0.75 goals-against-average in his past four games vs. Florida.
But on Friday, the Blues rested Halak and still won with backup goaltender Brian Elliott, who helped St. Louis (8-1-2) earn at least one point for its sixth straight game.
It was just Elliott's second start of the season and his first win. The last time he played was Oct. 18 in a 4-3 shootout loss at Winnipeg.
For his career, Elliott, 28, has 22 shutouts.
The Panthers lost their fourth straight game and closed their season-long six-game homestand at a disappointing 1-3-2.
It took 15:41 into the first period before Derek Roy broke the scoring ice, getting his fourth goal of the season. His backhand shot beat goalie Jacob Markstrom, who did not play the first time the teams met this season. The assist went to Kevin Shattenkirk, his eighth.
Both teams had 11 shots in the period, and neither club could score on its lone power-play opportunity.
The Blues made it 2-0 with 5:21 left in the second period. Chris Stewart, slotted way wide on the left, scored on a bad-angle shot for his first goal of the season. The assists went to Barret Jackman and Vladimir Sobotka.
Florida's defense let Markstrom down on the Blues' third goal, which was just 1:45 later.
First, Jonathan Huberdeau was sent to the penalty box for two minutes for boarding. Then, the Panthers failed to clear a rebound and Alex Pietrangelo streaked in from the right side to get his third goal of the season. The assists went to David Backes and former Panthers defenseman Jay Bouwmeester.
The Blues made it 4-0 with 10:42 elapsed in the second period on a goal by Alex Steen, his league-leading 12th of the season. The assist again went to Backes, his seventh of the season, as Steen took advantage of the traffic in front of Markstrom and pounced on a rebound.
It was the sixth straight game in which Steen has scored a goal, and it caused Panthers coach Kevin Dineen to call a timeout.
NOTES: Blues C Maxim Lapierre returned Friday after serving a five-game suspension. ... The Blues recalled LW Chris Porter, 29, from Chicago of the AHL. ... When Panthers LW Tomas Fleischmann was sick last Sunday, it snapped his 148-consecutive-game streak. ... Panthers G Tim Thomas, who is hurt for the second time this season, has a lower-body injury. He practiced three times this week and is close to returning. ... Panthers D Ed Jovanovski (hip) was still out. ... For the Blues, LW Brendan Morrow (ribs) and RW Magnus Paajarvi (upper body) were out. ... Nine of the Panthers' next 11 games are on the road, including Saturday at Washington. ... Up next for the Blues is Saturday's game at Tampa Bay.

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