Road Warriors: Panthers finish perfect trip with 2-1 win over Blues

Trocheck delivers clutch goal with under 5 seconds remaining

The Florida Panthers capped off an arduous trek west with a thrilling 2-1 win over the St. Louis Blues in front of a sold-out crowd at Scottrade Center.

It was the first time in franchise history that the Panthers went 5-0 on a five-game road trip. The Cats beat Nashville, San Jose, Anaheim, and Los Angeles before finishing off St. Louis.

Jonathan Marchessault opened the scoring 9:20 into the action when he beat Jake Allen from in tight after taking a feed from Nick Bjugstad. Bjugstad sped behind the Blues goal to claim a loose puck before finding Marchessault.

Allen and counterpart James Reimer kept the score the same until St. Louis broke through with their only goal at the 2:54 mark of the final frame.

After Reimer turned away a couple of chances, Kyle Brodziak collected a rebound in the slot and whipped it home to tie the score. Former Panther Scottie Upshall and Ryan Reaves picked up the assists on the goal.

As the period wore on, the Cats took control of play and hit pay dirt with their seventeenth and final shot of the stanza.

With the Blues hemmed in and the Panthers buzzing during the final minute, Reilly Smith’s pass from behind the net was tipped to Mark Pysyk who found Vincent Trocheck waiting at the point. Trocheck smacked a shot through traffic that Allen didn’t see for the winner with less than five seconds remaining on the clock.

The victory vaulted the Cats past the Maple Leafs and Bruins and back into third place in the Atlantic Division.

Florida will open a four-game homestand Wednesday night against the Edmonton Oilers. Calgary, Ottawa and Carolina will also visit on the run that closes out the month of February.

Sharps & Flats

  • Vincent Trocheck’s game-winning goal extended his point streak to six games. Trocheck has amassed eight points (2A/6A) during the torrid run.
  • Trocheck’s winner was the latest the Panthers have ever scored to win a game in regulation time.
  • James Reimer made 26 saves to boost his record to 12-6-4 on the season. Reimer lowered his GAA to 2.41 and upped his save percentage to .920.
  • Jake Allen turned away 31 of 33 Florida shots and saw his record drop to 22-16-3.
  • Aaron Ekblad had a team-high five shots on goal and blocked two shots in 18:50 TOI.
  • Blues winger Alexander Steen suited up for his 800th career NHL game.
  • Jonathan Marchessault played in his 100th game. Marchessault is second on the team with 17 goals.
  • St. Louis Game Time has you covered for the other side of the first meeting between the Cats and Blues. The club’s meet again April 6 in Sunrise./