Boyes scores twice as Blues blank Panthers

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ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- An explosive effort from the offense eased

the St. Louis Blues' pain of being without goaltender Manny

Legace. It even overshadowed the fact they may have lost their

backup netminder as well.

Brad Boyes scored a pair of goals as the Blues cruised to a 4-0

victory Saturday over the Florida Panthers despite seeing rookie

Ben Bishop leave with a lower body injury.

Keith Tkachuk recorded a power-play goal - his eighth of the

season - and an assist while Andy McDonald set up three tallies

for the Blues, who snapped a two-game skid. Paul Kariya also

notched a goal and an assist.

"Our work ethic was more up to the standard that we've had for

the greater part of the year," Blues coach Andy Murray said.

"That was the difference to me, our level of determination. As

a coach, you always grade your team on their play away from the

puck, and it was a lot better tonight."

Tkachuk has scored 13 goals in 19 career games against Florida,

while Kariya has seven tallies and 12 assists in 17 contests vs.

the Panthers.

Starting in place of the injured Legace, Bishop exited early in

the third after kicking away the puck while sliding across the

crease. He had turned aside five shots in the first period and

seven in the second.

"The team was playing great tonight," Bishop said. "I felt

comfortable out there and I wasn't nervous. Very disappointing,

you never want to have the leave the game."

Marek Schwarz made five saves in relief to secure the shutout.

Bishop replaced Legace in his NHL debut on Friday and allowed

two goals on 17 shots in a 4-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings.

He was forced to start this contest by default since regular

backup Chris Mason is out for at least another week after

undergoing an appendectomy.

St. Louis was able to bounce back after being shut out for the

first time this season. In that one, Tkachuk failed to score a

goal for the first time in eight games, while Kariya had a

career-best nine-game assists streak snapped.

The two veterans, however, made their presence felt on Saturday.

Boyes opened the scoring on the power play with 4:35 left in the

first period. Tkachuk took a pass on the doorstep from McDonald

and backhanded it to Boyes, who flipped the puck past goaltender

Craig Anderson.

"We knew we had to turn it around tonight," McDonald said.

"(Friday) was pretty disappointing. We were really flat and we

made a lot of mistakes. Tonight, we came out and played a full

game. Obviously, we got ahead, and it's nice not to have to

overcome a two- or three-goal deficit."

Kariya doubled the lead just 36 seconds into the middle session,

and Tkachuk netted a power-play goal with 6:04 remaining in the

period for a 3-0 bulge.

Boyes capped the scoring with 4:33 left in the game, tapping in

McDonald's rebound from in front.

"Full marks to St. Louis," Panthers coach Peter DeBoer said.

"They got beat last night at home, and we knew we'd see their

best game tonight. They took it to us. They were ready to

play, and they beat us to all loose pucks. They outworked us

and they were more disciplined.

"The disappointing part for me is that even though we were at

the end of a trip and we maybe didn't have great legs, but we

need to figure out a way to hang around in games like this."

Anderson stopped 27 shots for Florida, which had won three of

its previous four games. He cited St. Louis' power-play unit,

which is second in the NHL at 34.2 percent, as the main reason

why his team failed.

"It's a very frustrating night for everybody," Anderson said.

"We got in a little bit of penalty trouble there, and they have

the best power play in the league. We gave them a couple of

goals that way and we took ourselves out of the game a little

bit."

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