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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, October 25th (All times eastern)

Florida Panthers (4-3-0) at St. Louis Blues (4-3-0), 8:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - Needless to say, the Republican party may have lost some votes in the state of Missouri. After a freak accident in last night's game, the St. Louis Blues will host the Florida Panthers tonight at Scottrade Center without netminder Manny Legace.

The Blues hosted the Kings last night in the fourth game of their current seven-game homestand. Prior to the contest, Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin dropped the ceremonial first puck, similar to what she did in Philadelphia's home opener earlier in the month.

However, prior to Palin's appearance, Legace tripped over the carpet that had been laid out for the Alaskan governor as he came out for the national anthem, and gingerly skated to the crease.

Legace played the first period, allowing two goals on 12 shots before exiting due to a strained left hip flexor. He was replaced by Ben Bishop for the final two frames, with Bishop stopping 15-of-17 shots faced in his NHL debut. At 6- foot-7, Bishop became the tallest netminder to ever play in the NHL.

Bishop will likely be in net again tonight with Legace now sidelined, as normal backup Chris Mason is still out due to an appendectomy.

It didn't matter who was in net last night, as the Blues were blanked by the Kings, 4-0.

Keith Tkachuk (7 goals) had his six-game goal-scoring streak to start the season come to an end in the loss, while both Paul Kariya (1g, 9 assists) and Brad Boyes (5g, 4a) also had six-game point streaks halted.

The Blues are 3-2-0 at home having now split the first four games of their residency. St. Louis will also host Carolina and Pittsburgh over the next week.

Florida has won two straight and is being led by a pair of first-year Panthers so far. Cory Stillman had two goals, including the eventual game-winner, and an assist, while Keith Ballard had three assists in the club's 4-3 win over San Jose on Friday.

Stillman leads the Panthers with nine points (5g, 4a) in his first year in Sunrise after signing as a free agent, while Ballard, part of the deal that sent Olli Jokinen to Phoenix, is second with eight points off a goal and seven helpers.

Richard Zednik and Nathan Horton also tallied for Florida in the win. Netminder Tomas Vokoun faced a franchise-record tying 50 shots, stopping 47 of them.

The Panthers did announce yesterday that defenseman Bryan Allen will undergo knee surgery on Monday that will sideline him indefinitely. Allen had arthroscopic surgery this offseason and played in the first two games of the season before complaining of swelling.

The Panthers play six of their next seven games on the road and are 1-2-0 as the visiting club this year.

Florida has won two straight over the Blues after losing the last four meetings. The Panthers are just 2-7 with a tie all-time in St. Louis.

10/25 10:46:29 ET


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