for this game

Vokoun stops 43 shots as Panthers beat Blackhawks

Dec 17, 2007 - 3:28 AM
By Rory Spears PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CHICAGO (Ticker) - The Florida Panthers made the most of a rare visit to Chicago, defeating the Blackhawks, 3-1, on Sunday.

Florida last played in the "Windy City" on February 29, 2004 with the game ending in a 2-2 tie.

Defenseman Jay Bouwmeester had a goal and an assist and Tomas Vokoun stopped 43 shots to give the Panthers their second straight win.

"Tomas has been our best player all year by far," Florida coach Jacques Martin said. "Everytime we made a mistake he was there to save us; he has given us a chance to win every night."

Chicago came out strong in the first period, outshooting Florida, 22-4. But the Panthers were kept in the game by Vokoun, who made several key saves during a Chicago two-man advantage for a span of 1:34.

With both Greg Campbell and Bouwmeester in the penalty box, Chicago had several point-blank chances that Vokoun stopped, including a right-pad save on Robert Lang, then a glove save on Toumo Ruutu's slap shot seconds later.

"When you are down 5-on-3 it is a desperate situation," Vokoun said. "Killing that off was a big momentum shift, it was one of the defining moments in the game."

The Panthers scored their first goal when Rotislav Olesz netted his fifth goal of the season, blowing a slap shot from the deep slot over the glove of Blackhawks goalie Patrick Lalime, who was playing his first game in goal since December 1.

"Olesz played a very strong game for us tonight," Martin said. "Once we got the lead I thought we did a good job of protecting it."

Chicago tied the game at 1-1 when Dave Bolland scored his first NHL goal with 30 seconds left in the first period.

Bolland picked up a loose puck in front of the crease after a shot by Brent Sopel hit Bouwmeester. Bolland, cutting in from the rightside, circled to the left post and slid the puck along the ice past the outstretched glove of a diving Vokoun.

"Getting my first goal in the NHL is a big thing for me," Bolland said. "But I would rather have two points and a win tonight."

Florida regained the lead at 2-1 at 6:25 of the second period when Richard Zednik scored his ninth goal of the year. Radek Dvorak drove the net from the right side and dropped a pass to Zednik, who fired a wrist shot through traffic. The puck went just inside the left post past Lalime, who appeared to be screened on the play.

"I was just trying to drive the Chicago net, "Dvorak said. "Then I saw (Zednik) coming in alone so I passed to him, because by then one of their defenseman was starting to hook me down. He made a great shot and it was a big goal for us."

The Panthers then cranked up their fifth-ranked power play to take a 3-1 lead. With Chicago's Jim Vandermeer in the penalty box, Olli Jokinen held a Chicago clearing attempt in the Blackhawks zone.

Jokinen knocked the puck to the ice and passed to Bouwmeester, who circled from the right boards along the blueline into the the deep slot. Bouwmeester then lifted a soft wrist shot over three players, including a surprised Lalime, as the puck dropped under the crossbar and into the net.

"I just threw the puck at the net and it went in," Bouwmeester said. "Right before that I hit him (Lalime) with a one-timer and he saved that, there was really nothing to the shot that went in."

Chicago, which was 0-for-6 on the power play, has lost six of its last seven games.

"Vokoun was very good for them tonight," Blackhawks winger Adam Burrish said. "I just think if we could have had a few more bodies in front of him, a few more of our shots would have gone in."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA 1 2 0 3
    CHICAGO 1 0 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - ROSTISLAV OLESZ 5 (JAY BOUWMEESTER, BRETT MCLEAN)
    12:19
    CHI - DAVE BOLLAND 1 (BRENT SOPEL, ADAM BURISH) 19:30
    2ND PRD: FLA - RICHARD ZEDNIK 9 (RADEK DVORAK, STEVE MONTADOR) 6:25
    FLA - (PP) JAY BOUWMEESTER 4 (OL

    Dec 16 9:31 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA 1 2 3
    CHICAGO 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - ROSTISLAV OLESZ 5 (JAY BOUWMEESTER, BRETT MCLEAN)
    12:19
    CHI - DAVE BOLLAND 1 (BRENT SOPEL, ADAM BURISH) 19:30
    2ND PRD: FLA - RICHARD ZEDNIK 9 (RADEK DVORAK, STEVE MONTADOR) 6:25
    FLA - (PP) JAY BOUW

    Dec 16 8:39 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 3
    CHICAGO 1
    2ND PRD: FLA - (PP) JAY BOUWMEESTER 4 (OLLI JOKINEN) 16:54

    Panthers vs. BlackhawksDec 16 8:35 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 2
    CHICAGO 1
    2ND PRD: FLA - RICHARD ZEDNIK 9 (RADEK DVORAK, STEVE MONTADOR) 6:25

    Panthers vs. BlackhawksDec 16 8:15 PM
  • 5
    roots
    lpickrell Added 5 roots

    Panthers vs. BlackhawksDec 16 8:00 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLORIDA 1 1
    CHICAGO 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - ROSTISLAV OLESZ 5 (JAY BOUWMEESTER, BRETT MCLEAN)
    12:19
    CHI - DAVE BOLLAND 1 (BRENT SOPEL, DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN) 19:30
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    FLA 4

    Dec 16 7:47 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 1
    CHICAGO 1
    1ST PRD: CHI - DAVE BOLLAND 1 (BRENT SOPEL, DUSTIN BYFUGLIEN) 19:30

    Panthers vs. BlackhawksDec 16 7:46 PM


  • NHL
    FLORIDA 1
    CHICAGO 0
    1ST PRD: FLA - ROSTISLAV OLESZ 5 (JAY BOUWMEESTER, BRETT MCLEAN) 12:19

    Panthers vs. BlackhawksDec 16 7:31 PM