Series (Game 1 of 1)

Florida leads 1-0

Game 1: Saturday, October 31st

Panthers 4

(4-7-1, 9 pts)

Blues 0

(5-6-1, 11 pts)

8:00 PM ET, October 31, 2009

Scottrade Center, Saint Louis, Missouri

1 2 3 T
FLA 2 0 24
STL 0 0 00

T. Vokoun (Panthers - G): Saves: 34, Save Pct.: 1.000

C. Stillman (Panthers - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

S. Reinprecht (Panthers - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

Panthers-Blues Preview


The St. Louis Blues and Florida Panthers each got off to solid starts to the season in Europe.

Not much has gone right since returning to North America, though.

The Blues again try to shake their home struggles Saturday night when they host the Panthers, who look to build on their first win in two weeks.

St. Louis (5-5-1) opened this season in stellar fashion, sweeping a two-game series from defending Western Conference champion Detroit in Stockholm, Sweden. It was an inspiring start for a team seeking a return trip to the playoffs, but it has been unable to continue that success.

Since returning from Europe, the Blues are 3-5-1 with their biggest troubles coming at home.

After going 23-13-5 in St. Louis last season, the Blues, who opened a three-game homestand Thursday with a 2-0 loss to Phoenix, are 1-4-0 at Scottrade Center, combining to score just four goals in those defeats.

One of the biggest reasons for their home woes has been an inability to score with the man advantage. The Blues went scoreless in three power play-opportunities against the Coyotes and are 0 for 21 in such situations at home this season.

The Panthers (3-7-1) have been even worse since making the return trip across the Atlantic.

Florida opened this season by splitting a two-game series with Chicago in Helsinki, Finland, but is 2-6-1 since.

While things haven't been easy for the Panthers, they defeated Dallas 6-5 in a shootout Friday, their first victory since beating Philadelphia 4-2 on Oct. 16.

Red-hot Steven Reinprecht led the way against the Stars with a natural hat trick in a 5:11 span of the first period, but it almost wasn't enough.

Dallas climbed back from that 3-0 deficit to send the game to overtime, but Florida's Rostislav Olesz scored the only goal of the shootout to secure the victory.

"With how things have been going for us, it was an important two points," Panthers coach Peter DeBoer said.

Reinprecht has been leading Florida's inconsistent offense, tallying eight goals and three assists in his last six games.

Reinprecht, who is already more than halfway to his total of 14 goals in 73 games last season, hasn't scored against St. Louis since playing for Calgary on March 3, 2004, a span of 13 games.

The Panthers split two games against the Blues last season and have lost five of the last six meetings in St. Louis.

Florida starting goalie Tomas Vokoun was given the night off Friday and backup Scott Clemmensen made 32 saves to win his second game in three starts.

Although Vokoun is 0-7-1 with a 3.77 goals-against average since defeating the Blackhawks in the opener, he could be back in net for this contest based on his success against St. Louis. Vokoun has recorded a 1.25 GAA and one shutout in winning each of his last eight games versus the Blues since the 2005-06 season and has a 0.68 GAA in his three starts in St. Louis in that span.

Blues backup goalie Ty Conklin, who has lost consecutive starts since opening the season with back-to-back victories, could also get the start in this contest based on his history against the Panthers. He's posted a 1.67 GAA in winning all six career starts versus Florida.