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Vokoun, Panthers blank Avalanche

Dec 22, 2008 - 1:45 AM
By Rick Menning PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SUNRISE, Florida (Ticker) -- Tomas Vokoun stopped all 23 shots he faced as the Florida Panthers recorded a 3-0 triumph over the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.

Brett McLean netted his first goal of the season in the second period and Richard Zednik and defenseman Bryan McCabe also tallied for Florida, which finally won a game in regulation on its home ice against the Avalanche.

Not since the then-Quebec Nordiques lost, 4-2, at Miami Arena in 1995 has Florida found a way to get past that franchise in South Florida.

Vokoun stopped three shots in the first period, eight in the second and 12 in the third to notch his second shutout of the season and 27th career.

"It was tough mentally because I didn't have a lot of chances early," Vokoun said. "I had to fight through the lack of involvement and get steady in a hurry (in the third period)."

Peter Budaj finished with 21 saves for Colorado, which fell to 11-2-0 all-time against the Panthers.

"I think they came out really hard and frankly outplayed us (those first two periods)," Budaj said. "In the third period we were all over them and we played a really strong game, but hockey is a game of 60 minutes."

The Panthers, who had several good scoring chances in the first period, cashed in on their aggressive play when McLean tipped in a perfect feed from Nick Tarnasky for his first goal this season.

"When you work hard you get rewarded, and that's not only Brett (McLean) but also all the guys. They've been executing and following the system," Florida coach Peter DeBoer said.

It was the 50th career goal for McLean, who was parked in front of the crease and redirected the puck past Budaj at 5:26 of the second period.

"I just happened to be in the right spot," McLean said. "You put yourself in a position to score and sometimes it works out."

Vokoun, making his second straight start, proved more than up to the challenge when Colorado took the play to the Panthers throughout much of the third period.

"He was a real rock for us in that (third) period)," DeBoer said. "He gave us an opportunity time and again to regain our composure."

Coming off a 3-1-1 road trip, Florida increased its advantage to 2-0 with just over seven minutes to play in the second as Zednik lifted a backhander under the crossbar past Budaj.

Colorado coach Tony Granato said the goals were the culmination of Florida's persistence in the offensive zone.

"I thought we would be sharper early and have better jump," Granato said. "They controlled the play for the first 20 minutes. By the time we got our legs underneath us, it was too late."

Florida dodged a bullet late in the second period. Defenseman John-Michael Liles capped a flurry of chances with a shot just after time had expired to keep Vokoun's shutout alive.

"Collectively, we all weren't ready. No excuses, we fell short tonight," left wing Ryan Smyth said. "I thought we played a good solid third but that was too late. You've got to give them a lot of credit."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLORADO 0 0 0 0
    FLORIDA 0 2 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: FLA - BRETT MCLEAN 1 (NICK TARNASKY) 5:26
    FLA - RICHARD ZEDNIK 4 (KARLIS SKRASTINS, GREGORY CAMPBELL)
    12:59
    3RD PRD: FLA - (PP) BRYAN MCCABE 5 (NATHAN HORTON, STEPHEN WEISS)
    18:18
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSION

    Avalanche 0, Panthers 3  FinalDec 21 7:28 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLORADO 0 0 0
    FLORIDA 0 2 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: FLA - BRETT MCLEAN 1 (NICK TARNASKY) 5:26
    FLA - RICHARD ZEDNIK 4 (KARLIS SKRASTINS, GREGORY CAMPBELL)
    12:59
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COL 3 8

    Dec 21 6:35 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 0
    FLORIDA 2
    2ND PRD: FLA - RICHARD ZEDNIK 4 (KARLIS SKRASTINS, GREGORY CAMPBELL)
    12:59

    Avalanche 0, Panthers 2  2nd - 7:01Dec 21 6:24 PM


  • NHL
    COLORADO 0
    FLORIDA 1
    2ND PRD: FLA - BRETT MCLEAN 1 (NICK TARNASKY) 5:26

    Avalanche 0, Panthers 1  2nd - 14:34Dec 21 6:08 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLORADO 0 0
    FLORIDA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COL 3 3
    FLA 8 8
    GOALIES: COL - PETER BUDAJ
    FLA - TOMAS VOKOUN

    Dec 21 5:42 PM