NHL: St. Louis 4, Florida 1

Nov. 17, 2011 at 11:01 PM

ST. LOUIS, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- David Backes had two goals Friday and St. Louis limited Florida to 21 shots in downing the Panthers 4-1.

St. Louis improved to 4-0-1 under Ken Hitchcock, who took over the team this month and is off to the best start for a new coach in franchise history.

Backes tallied on a wrist shot to open the scoring 6:04 into the contest and finished things off with an empty-net goal with 1:50 to play.

Chris Porter also scored for St. Louis in the second to put the Blues in front for good and Kris Russell tipped in a shot midway through the third.

The only goal off Jaroslav Halak came with 6:53 left in the first from Mike Santorelli that lifted the Panthers into a 1-1 tie.

Jose Theodore allowed three goals on 30 shots.

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