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D'Agostini's late goal helps Blues edge Panthers

Feb 9, 2011 - 4:40 AM
Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) - Matt D'Agostini netted the game-winning goal with four minutes remaining in regulation and the St. Louis Blues edged the Florida Panthers, 2-1, at BankAtlantic Center.

David Backes also scored for the Blues, who have earned at least one point in three straight games (2-0-1) on the heels of a four-game winless skid. Jaroslav Halak finished with 30 saves in the victory.

"We kept with our game plan and tried to wear them down," said D'Agostini. "I thought we played an all-around solid game tonight."

Dennis Wideman tallied the lone goal for Florida, which has won just twice in its last 10 games (2-4-4).

Tomas Vokoun yielded two goals on 28 shots in the losing effort.

In the latter stages of the third period, the Blues took the lead for good courtesy of D'Agostini's 12th goal.

D'Agostini took the brunt of a hit along the half-wall in the neutral zone in order to advance the puck onto the stick of Vladimir Sobotka, who raced down the right-wing side as a 3-on-1 break emerged for the Blues.

From the circle, Sobotka passed into the low slot for D'Agostini, who had followed the play the length of the ice and lit the lamp with a low wrist shot at the 16-minute mark.

"We need to find a way to win these close games," Vokoun said.

St. Louis improved to 9-2-3 versus the Eastern Conference this season.

The Panthers opened the scoring with a 5-on-3 goal at the 6:45 mark of the first period. Only 19 seconds after Brad Winchester was whistled for tripping, Roman Polak sent the puck over the glass and garnered the two-minute minor for delay of game. Stephen Weiss held control atop the right circle and sent a pass across the slot for a successful one-timer from the opposite circle by Wideman.

Backes' 18th goal of the campaign, with one minute to play before the second intermission, knotted the score.

Game Notes

Halak returned to action after he'd missed the previous two games with an upper-body injury...Despite the loss, Florida has still captured four of its last six against the Blues overall...The Panthers finished 1-for-5 on the power play, while the Blues failed on all five of their man-up chances.