From the opening faceoff, the Blues looked like the better team, as they controlled Buffalo for a majority of the game. While the game remained close for a while, Alexander Steen’s two goals in the third sealed the deal for St. Louis as they earned a 5-1 win over the Sabres tonight on home ice.
“Not creating enough offensively, we were rested, we should have had a lot of energy…”-Jack Eichel
Although neither team was able to earn many scoring chances early on, Robert Thomas opened the scoring five minutes into the game, giving the Blues an early lead. The Sabres, unfortunately, did not earn a shot on goal until the game’s seventh minute, courtesy of a wrist shot from Rasmus Ristolainen. St. Louis doubled their lead in the first off a goal from Tyler Bozak, which saw Nikko Mikkola earn his first career point with a secondary assist.
“Everybody needs to get hungrier to get to the net…there was opportunity around the net where we didn’t stick around.”- Ralph Krueger.
Jack Eichel continued his career year, after skating around their net and firing his shot down the middle, scoring his 27th of the year a few minutes into the second period. The Blues would double their lead once again with a power-play goal from David Perron, as they would hold two-goal leads after the first two periods, along with a 26-13 advantage in shots, and also saw Buffalo score five of their six SOG in the period come in the final six minutes.
Scoring in the third started around the same time as the previous two periods, with Steen’s first goal putting the Blues in a favorable position, as he scored an empty-netter that capped the scoring. The Blues, along with a win, also outshot the Sabres 31-19, as the Sabres continue to falter away from KeyBank Center.
Coming off two straight wins on home ice, Linus Ullmark made 27 saves on 31 shots faced. He did make some highlight saves, which included stopping a 3-on-1 chance by St. Louis in the first from a turnover by Brandon Montour, but struggled throughout. Jordan Binnington also made his first career start against the Sabres, and played well, making 18 saves in the win.
This game would be the fifth straight loss away from home for the Sabres, along with it being the Blues’ seventh consecutive home win. While the Sabres have been successful at home, their road struggles continue, six road wins on the year.
“It’s not pretty, they [Blues] play the right way here, it is never easy against them.”- Michael Frolik.
Eichel’s goal in the second gave him a current 5-game point streak, as he looks to recreate his 17-game streak from earlier in the season and continue the success thus far in the year. Jake McCabe missed this game due to an upper-body injury that was announced earlier in the week. Tonight’s game was also Michael Frolik’s season debut, as well as the season debut for Lawrence Pilut. Frolik finished with 16:44, while Pilut finished with just under 20 minutes of ice time.
After a tough performance on the road, the Sabres return home, where they won two in a row last week, on Saturday to host the Vancouver Canucks, puck drop scheduled for 1 p.m. at KeyBank Center.