The Buffalo Sabres will look to rebound against the St. Louis Blues tonight at the First Niagara Center, after falling to the Maple Leafs Saturday night, 4-2. Buffalo’s comeback fell short in Toronto with some sloppy play and poor coverage in their own zone, and both will need to be dramatically corrected if the Sabres want any chance to grab two points against the Blues.
The Sabres home and home series against Toronto started off with an impressive win Friday night in Ted Nolan’s 2013-2014 head coaching debut as they defeated the Leafs 3-1. Saturday’s contest had a different outcome however with the Sabres reverting to some bad habits. On two consecutive goals, Toronto’s James van Reimsdyk was found alone in front of Jhonas Enroth for easy tip ins, along with a potent Maple Leaf power play led to the demise of the Sabres. Buffalo will definitely need to keep up their much improved work ethic and tighten up significantly in their own zone. While the Sabres have won three out of their last six games, they still find themselves in the basement of the Eastern Conference with their season a quarter of the way over.
The St. Louis Blues (13-3-3) come into the contest as one of the hotter teams in the NHL even though they are coming off a 4-1 loss to Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals. Head coach Ken Hitchcock has the Blue’s offense working on all cylinders this year. St. Louis is ranked third in the league in goals per game (3.4) and leading the league on the power play(25.4). Alexander Steen is having a remarkable season for the Blues so far, tied for the lead in goals with Alex Ovechkin with 17, and leading the league in points with 26. The Blues are winners of five out of their last seven and will need a victory tonight to stay one point back of Chicago in the Central Division in the Western Conference.
The match up between Buffalo and St. Louis also marks the return of Derek Roy to Buffalo, for the first time since he was traded to the Dallas Stars in July 2012.
This game is the first of two match ups between these teams. They will meet again this season on April 3rd, at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 and can be seen on MSG.