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Lehtera scores winner, Blues beat Panthers 2-1 in shootout

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Jori Lehtera scored the winning goal in the fifth round of a shootout, and the St. Louis Blues beat the Florida Panthers 2-1 on Sunday.

Vladimir Tarasenko also scored for St. Louis in the shootout, and Brad Boyes converted for Florida. Lehtera beat Roberto Luongo with a shot between the pads.

Jaden Schwartz scored in regulation for the Blues, who are 15-3 in their last 18 games. Brian Elliott stopped 40 shots, including 20 in the third period and two in overtime.

The Blues earned their third consecutive win and sixth in a row over the Panthers. Florida hasn’t defeated St. Louis since a 4-0 victory on Oct. 31, 2009.

Nick Bjugstad scored for the Panthers, and Luongo made 32 saves.

The Panthers tied it 1-all on Bjugstad’s goal with 1:13 left in the third. Bjugstad poked the puck toward the net, it hit the post and then bounced off Elliott and back across the goal line. Bjugstad leads the Panthers with 20 goals.

Schwartz gave the Blues a 1-0 lead in the second period. Lehtera passed the puck from behind the net to the right circle. Schwartz corralled the puck, and his wrist shot went over Luongo’s shoulder on the glove side at 11:48. Schwartz has 20 points in his last 20 games.

NOTES: Blues D Barret Jackman tied Brian Sutter for second on the club’s career games played list with 779. Bernie Federko holds the record with 927. … Panthers D Dmitry Kulikov was scratched and is facing a suspension for a clipping penalty Friday on Dallas C Tyler Seguin. … Panthers D Willie Mitchell and C Brandon Pirri were placed on injured reserve with upper-body injuries. The Mitchell move is retroactive to Feb. 3, and the Pirri move is retroactive to Feb.10. … Florida Marlins pitchers Steve Cishek, Matt Latos and Tom Koehler dropped the ceremonial first puck.

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