Panthers end Blues undefeated start with 5-2 win

Roberto Luongo stops 37 in milestone win

Roberto Luongo stopped 37 shots and rookie defenseman Ian McCoshen scored his first NHL goal to help the Florida Panthers beat the previously undefeated St. Louis Blues by a 5-2 count at BB&T Center.

The win was Luongo’s 454th, tying with former Blue Curtis “Cujo” Joseph for fourth-most in NHL history.

St. Louis shrugged off some early pressure from the host Cats and opened the scoring  1:14 into the second period on Paul Stastny’s power-play goal. Florida’s penalty killers gave Stastny too much time and space at the side of the net and he was able to sweep the puck around Luongo. Vladimir Tarasenko and Alex Pietrangelo drew the assists on Stastny’s second of the season.

Back at full-strength, the Panthers answered back 12 second later when Connor Brickley’s pretty cross found an onrushing McCoshen, who fired the puck past Jake Allen from the point. Nick Bjugstad registered the secondary assist on the play.

Vincent Trocheck gave Florida the lead 1:19 after McCoshen’s tally when he beat Allen on shorthanded breakaway. Colton Sceviour sent Trocheck in alone with a nice steal at center ice to get the lone assist on the go-ahead goal.

The Panthers added another special teams marker at the 7:42 mark. Jared McCann came off the bench just in time to deflect Radim Vrbata’s shot from the left circle by a helpless Allen. Aaron Ekblad also drew an assist on the power-play goal.

Florida extended its lead 3:16 into the final frame when Jonathan Huberdeau found Ekblad in the right circle and the defenseman buried a one-timer. Aleksander Barkov picked up the second assist by neatly tapping the puck to Huberdeau in the slot.

The Cats rang up goal number five with 5:58 left in regulation. Bjugstad took a lead pass from McCann and blew by Joel Edmundson before finishing with a wrister. Brickley collected his second point of the night with the secondary helper.

Blues rookie Vince Dunn completed the scoring when he froze Luongo with wrist shot from the high slot. Dunn first NHL goal was set up by former Panther Scottie Upshall and Pietrangelo, and came with 1:09 left to go.

The 2-1 Panthers will have today off before hitting the road for two games in Pennsylvania, starting with Saturday night’s tilt against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena.

Full Highlights (courtesy of

Sharps & Flats

  • Roberto Luongo’s next win will give him sole possession of fourth place all-time. Ahead of Luongo in third place is Ed Belfour, who finished with 484 wins.
  • Ian McCoshen notched his first career goal in his sixth big-league game. McCoshen’s first point also came against the Blues back on April 6, 2017 in his NHL debut.
  • After surrendering Paul Stastny’s game-opening goal, Florida’s penalty kill came up with a big 5-on-3 kill late in the second period with St. Louis down by two.
  • Jake Allen finished with 33 stops and took his first loss of the campaign. Allen made an unbelievable glove save on Aleksander Barkov in the third period denying the center his first of 2017-18.
  • In addition to racking up a goal and an assist Aaron Ekblad posted a +3 rating. His partner Keith Yandle also went +3 and logged a team-high 22:36 TOI.
  • Blues forward Brayden Schenn led all shooters with nine shots on goal. Schenn also spent 12 minutes in the penalty box.
  • St. Louis Game Time has the other side of Florida’s streak-busting win over the Blues./