Sports Outside the Beltway

The incredible Tomas Vokoun

He scored his second shutout in three games as goaltender for the Florida Panthers last night versus the St. Louis Blues.

ST. LOUIS — The Panthers are going to have to learn that one goal is almost never enough to win in the NHL. But Thursday night, it was.

For the second straight game, the Panthers took a 1-0 lead in the second period and tried to make it stand up. This time, they did it.

Stephen Weiss knocked in the rebound off a Nathan Horton shot 1:10 into the second period and Tomas Vokoun stopped 33 shots to register his second shutout in three games and third of the season as Florida tied a franchise record with its fourth straight road win at the Scottrade Center.

The Panthers (14-15-2) have won four straight games on three previous occasions, the last of them coming in February 2003.

“It’s nice to win,” said Vokoun, now 7-0 against the Blues since the end of the lockout in 2005. “We’re not in a position where we can give games away. We were two points out of last place in the league. We have to start winning on the road if we’re going to go anywhere.”

The Blues came into the game as one of the more productive teams in the league, having scored 13 goals in their previous three games and three or more in seven of their past 10.

After a slow start this season, it appears Tomas has come into form finally. This is good news considering how much Florida gave up to get the Czech born former All-Star goalie.

The way the Panthers have been scoring of late, Vokoun needs to shut out opposition teams. Florida has scored only 4 non-empty net goals in the their last three games. In spite of Vokoun shutting two of those teams out and allowing only one goal in regulation or overtime in the same three games, Florida is only 2-0-1 result wise.

Florida has a good enough team to win the Southeast Division. They have to start producing offensively.

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