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Vokoun makes 23 saves for second shutout of season as Panthers beat Avs 3-0

SUNRISE, Fla. - Tomas Vokoun was quick to credit his Florida Panthers teammates after his second shutout of the season.

Vokoun made 23 saves for his 27th career shutout, and Brett McLean, Richard Zednik and Bryan McCabe scored goals in Florida's 3-0 victory over Colorado on Sunday night.

"Today was an effort of 20 guys," Vokoun said. "We played our system and when we do that, we can beat anybody."

It was Vokoun's third start in four games and third strong performance. After giving way to Craig Anderson in six of seven games from Nov. 28 to Dec. 11, Vokoun gave up two goals in a shootout win at Calgary on Dec. 12 and made 35 saves in a 2-1 overtime loss at Carolina on Thursday night.

"In things like this you can get frustrated and feel sorry or you can work on your game," Vokoun said. "This is a team sport and you have to consider the team before yourself. If you don't play, you have to work harder to be better."

The Panthers ended an eight-game home losing streak against the Avalanche franchise and beat Colorado for the first time at Bank Atlantic Center. Florida's last home victory in the series was April 22, 1995, against the Quebec Nordiques at Miami Arena.

"It was a very poor start on our part," said Colorado coach Tony Granato, whose team wrapped up a four-game trip. "To make no excuses, it has been a long stretch of road games and travel. It looked like it caught up to us. We didn't get our legs until the third period. By that time, it was too late."

Peter Budaj stopped 22 shots for the Avalanche.

"I think they came out really hard and frankly they outplayed us in the first half," Budaj said. "We tried to pick it up in the third period but hockey is a game of 60 minutes."

McLean opened the scoring at 5:26 of the second with his first goal of the season and 50th in the NHL. He tipped Nick Tarnasky's shot past Budaj.

"It felt really good to get that first goal," McLean said. "Hopefully, I won't have to wait that long to get number two."

Zednik scored at 12:59 of the second, firing a backhander from the right side of the crease that went over Budaj and just under the crossbar.

McCabe added an empty-net goal on a power play with 1:42 left in the third.

"I think we dictated the pace in the first and second," Panthers coach Peter DeBoer said. "I didn't like the way we played in the third but Vokoun made some big saves. He was a real rock for us in the third."

The game was Florida's first at home since a 4-0 loss to Boston on Dec. 6.

Notes: Marek Svatos missed his fifth straight game for Colorado because of a back injury. ... Colorado RW Chris Stewart and Florida RW Anthony Stewart are brothers. ... Florida D Jassen Cullimore left the game at the end of the first period because of a hand and wrist injury. He did not return.



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