Late Ekblad goal not enough as Panthers fall to Blues
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Martin Brodeur made 32 saves in his first home game with St. Louis, and Chris Porter scored his first goal of the season late in the third period to send the Blues to a 4-2 victory over the Florida Panthers on Monday night.
Porter's goal came just more than three minutes after Florida tied the game. Porter redirected Barret Jackman's slap shot past Roberto Luongo at 18:06 to give the Blues a 3-2 lead.
Paul Stastny added an empty-netter with 32 seconds remaining.
The Blues jumped on top with a pair of first-period goals.
Maxim Lapierre's second of the season gave St. Louis a 1-0 lead 11:17 into the game. Initially, Lapierre's spin shot appeared wide, but it was deflected into the net off the skate of Florida's Vincent Trocheck.
The Blues doubled their lead on Ian Cole's third goal at 17:34. A nifty give-and-go between Vladimir Tarasenko and Jori Lehtera started the play, and Lehtera found Cole between the circles for a one-timer to make it 2-0.
Blues captain David Backes left early in the first period after getting hit in the face by the puck on a slap shot by teammate T.J. Oshie. Backes returned midway through the second period wearing a cage to protect his face.
Brodeur received several big cheers from the home crowd as he turned away several quality Panthers scoring chances in the second period, in which Florida outshot the Blues 18-7.
Florida finally broke through on Nick Bjugstad's wrist shot that beat Brodeur to the stick side to cut St. Louis' lead to 2-1 at 15:21 of the second.
Bjugstad's 12th goal broke a two-game scoring drought for the Panthers against St. Louis that spanned 202 minutes, 14 seconds of game time. Florida last scored against the Blues on Oct. 17, 2011, in a 4-1 loss.
The Panthers tied the game late in the third on Aaron Ekblad's goal. Oshie lost his stick, leaving Ekblad open on the right wing. Jussi Jokinen found him and Ekblad scored his fifth of the season to make it 2-all at 14:54 of the third.
The Blues struggled on the power play. St. Louis was 0 for 4 with the man advantage, including a 5-on-3 that lasted 1:44.
Luongo stopped 24 of 27 shots for the Panthers.
NOTES: Carl Gunnarsson, Alexander Steen and Magnus Paajarvi were scratched for the Blues. ... Shawn Thornton was the lone scratch for Florida. ... Backes moved into a tie with Jamal Mayers for 11th on the games played list for the Blues at 595. ... Ekblad extended his point streak to five games.
(In the previous version of this story, the final note incorrectly said Ekblad had his four-game point streak snapped. He extended it to five games.)