A raucous Tuesday night crowd energized the Florida Panthers, who jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period, before hanging on for a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhaws, in Sunrise.
The Panthers were heavily outplayed over the last two periods, but were kept alive in part by a brilliant night from goaltender Tomas Vokoun. He made 37 saves on 39 shots, and was voted the game’s first star.
Early in the first period, David Booth added to his comeback season by scoring his 20th goal of the season. Booth picked up the rebound off of Michal Repik’s shot, and slipped the puck just inside the post.
Florida made it 2-0 at 9:44, when Clay Wilson scored first goal since his rookie season in 2007-08 with the Columbus Blue Jackets. A blocked shot found Wilson’s stick, and his deflected shot attempt beat Corey Crawford.
The Panthers added another goal to their lead with just 6.9 seconds left in the opening period. Marty Reasoner took the puck in the slot and wristed a shot over Crawford’s glove. Marty Turco took over in net for the Blackhawks after the first period.
Chicago got back into the game with two quick goals in the second period. Brian Campbell circled around the back of the net and threw a pass out in front, which Patrick Kane one-timed passed Vokoun. Less than three minutes later, Dave Bolland found Marian Hossa with a pass, and Hossa beat Vokoun glove side with a one-timer.
Florida will be back in action on Thursday night, at home against the Ottawa Senators, as its seven game home stand continues.