Cats Quickies: Kudos all around to Higgins as Panthers, Vokoun mash Rangers 3-0



The first frame was a definite snoozer at both ends but after a prolonged "feel-out" session Florida broke through the Biron Curtain (get it? Yeah, I'm that old) behind a sparkling 32-save shut-out effort from Tomas Vokoun. Stephen Weiss , Chris Higgins (!), and David Booth (!!) netted the only goals of the evening as the Panthers climbed to .500 in regulation with a 17-17-2 record. The Rangers, owners of the best road record in the NHL, displayed some energy in spurts, but otherwise spent the night playing "D".

Higgins, a recent brickbat target by many folks since Friday's wait-wait-wait-turnover in OT led to the Wisniewski gamewinner, received a number of digs - primarily by me - in tonight's chat but scored what should be considered the backbreaker at 8:50 of the third period. Dude showed up when it mattered in this one. Hat is off.

Notes:  Marc Staal led all skaters in TOI with 28:10; Dennis Wideman paced the Gatos with 22:25.  No idea what's up with Steve Bernier, but he only logged 5:51.  Dmitry Kulikov has evidently been banished from the PK, as his 4 seconds on the kill could well be a career low.  Bryan McCabe, Mike Santorelli, and Booth each finished with 4 SOG.  FLA assists: Wideman, Santorelli.  Martin Biron stopped 33 shots in between conferences with the on-ice officials.  Marian Gaborik, Sean Avery, and leading scorer Brandon Dubinsky (-2) were non-factors in their respective areas.  New York outshot Florida 11-10 in the third frame.  Announced attendance: 16,752.  More from the fantastic Blueshirt Banter here.

Next up:  Monday from Raleigh. Live Game Thread at 6pm.

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