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Strange Happenings: St. Louis Blues 4, Florida Panthers 1

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SUNRISE — The only way to describe Thursday’s game between the St. Louis Blues and Florida Panthers would be to call it weird.

It was just an odd, peculiar, strange game.

And not one in which the Panthers did themselves any favors.

St. Louis ended up scoring three in the second period and, despite the Panthers getting one of the kookier goals you’ll ever see, the Blues strolled out of town and headed home with a 4-1 win.

The first period went from the Panthers getting numerous chances in front of goalie Joel Hofer — and hitting the post three times — to evolving into a skating and passing session as the two teams remained scoreless going into the second.

The Blues may have been outplayed for good chunks of that period, but it did not show on the scoreboard as they took a 2-0 lead on goals from Jordan Kyrou and Pavel Buchnevich — and came within a Gus Forsling pokecheck forcing offside which would have been a third goal.

Then came the Panthers’ goal.

Eetu Luostarinen went from clearing the puck from 100 feet out — he was near the bench beyond the blue line — to putting the biscuit into an empty basket.

Luostarinen’s clearing shot clipped the curved glass near the bench and kept on going’ Hofer, expecting to play the puck, went behind the net only to watch it slide across the ice and into the back of the net.

St. Louis argued it was out of play but the Blues were overruled. It was 2-1.

No matter, Alexey Toropchenko made it 3-1 before the period ended by deflecting a shot from Marco Scandella.

In the third, the Panthers appeared to cut their deficit but a deflection from Ryan Lomberg was waved off for a high-stick off a shot from Nick Cousins.

The Panthers have now lost four of their past five games and have scored a grand total of two goals in those losses.

Up next: A rematch of the 2023 Stanley Cup Final as the Vegas Golden Knights come to town before the Christmas break.

GOALS OF THE GAME

  • Blues 1, Panthers 0 (4:50, 1st): Jordan Kyrou puts up a shot which cuts between Brandon Montour and Niko Mikkola as Sergei Bobrovsky was slow to move over to cover the shot.
  • Blues 2, Panthers 0 (7:46, 2nd): Buchnevich had a goal pulled for Kyrou being offside, but the two pair up again — and get that goal right back.
  • Blues 2, Panthers 1 (13:47, 2nd): Eetu Luostarinen goes to dump the puck in down the boards from beyond the blue line — and puts it into an inadvertent empty net. Still counts.
  • Blues 3, Panthers 1 (16:43, 2nd): Alexey Toropchenko gets down low and deflects a shot from Marco Scandella and puts it past Bobrovsky.
  • Blues 4, Panthers 1 (16:51, 3rd EN): Buchnevich has himself a 3-point night.

FHN’S 3 STARS OF THE GAME

1. Joel Hofer (41 saves), St. Louis

2. Pavel Buchnevich (2 goals, assist), St. Louis

3. Jordan Kyrou (goal, assist), St. Louis

ON DECK

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS @ FLORIDA PANTHERS

  • When: Saturday, 3 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM, WPOW 96.5 FM2, WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL app
  • Season Series — At Florida: Saturday. At Vegas: Jan. 4.
  • Last Regular Season: Even 1-1
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Golden Knights lead 6-3-1
  • Postseason History — 2023 Stanley Cup Final: Vegas d. Florida 4-1
  • Up Next for the Florida Panthers: Wednesday at Tampa Bay, 7 p.m.

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