Panthers face Blues for first time after ‘real good kicking’ in St. Louis

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Seven goals is the biggest losing margin in the NHL this year, and only two teams can lay claim to the dubious distinction — the New York Rangers (a 9-2 loss to San Jose on Oct. 8) and the Florida Panthers, who lost 7-0 in St. Louis on Oct. 5.

Tonight, the Panthers are looking for revenge as they host the Blues in Florida.

“You get beat bad, a team spanks you, you know what? We’re all professionals, we all have pride, we know we took a really good kicking there,” head coach Kevin Dineen told the Florida Sun-Sentinel. “So, that’s how you react.”

The blowout loss saw the Blues score five goals on 28 shots against Tim Thomas, then two on six shots against Jakob Markstrom, who came on in relief for the third period.

It was, as you’d expect, an embarrassing moment for the Panthers.

“It was a man’s game and we didn’t rise to the occasion tonight,” Dineen fumed following the contest. “We got outplayed in every aspect of the game.”

“Obviously, our whole entire game wasn’t there. We just had a lesson in how you’re supposed to play. We should take a page from their playbook,” said Florida defenseman Mike Weaver. “They came out hard, finished checks, won every puck battle. We should be watching their video next game in what they do and learn from it.”

Markstrom will get the start in goal tonight for the Panthers, who are mired in a tough home stretch that’s seen them lose four of five — though they were able to salvage points with shootout losses to Chicago and Tampa Bay.

St. Louis heads into tonight having won two straight. Tonight also marks the first in a mini three-game roadie that sees the Blues go to Florida, Tampa Bay and Montreal.