March 7, 2009

NHL: Florida 5, St. Louis 3

David Booth's second NHL career hat trick Saturday night helped boost the Florida Panthers to a 5-3 win over the St. Louis Blues.

The contest was critical for both clubs, who are in a battle for a playoff berth in their respective conferences.

Booth scored his 22nd (power play) in the first period, and his 23rd and 24th in the second. He added an assist for a four-point night.

Nathan Horton and Radek Dvorak scored a goal apiece and Tomas Vokoun, playing in his 500th NHL game, made 26 saves on 29 shots for the Panthers, who are angling for their first playoff appearance since the 1999-2000 season.

St. Louis' David Backes scored twice, including once on the power play.

Brad Boyes also scored, while Chris Mason was beaten five times on 35 shots for the Blues, whose four-game road winning streak ended.