Sabres play sour note, fall 5-1 to the Blues

Buffalo never got going on Thursday after a lengthy layoff

Kyle Powell
January 09, 2020 - 7:11 pm
Sabres-Blues

Photo: Jeff Curry - USA TODAY Sports

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The Buffalo Sabres laid an egg in enemy territory on Thursday night as they dropped a 5-1 decision to the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues at Enterprise Center.

Buffalo got its only goal on the night from captain Jack Eichel, who scored goal No. 27 on the season and extended his current point streak to five games.

The Blues opened the scoring 4:47 into the game as forward Robert Thomas whiffed on his first opportunity off a feed from Tyler Bozak, but was able to corral the loose puck, reset, and dragged a second shot attempt through a Sabres screen and past goalie Linus Ullmark.

The home side made it 2-0 with 6:31 left in the opening stanza when Bozak crashed the net hard on Ullmark and was able to score his 10th goal of the season with help from Thomas and defenseman Niko Mikkola.

St. Louis was able to jump all over the Sabres in the opening period, outshooting Buffalo by a 11-7 and controlling a majority of the pace of play.

Buffalo returned the favor and found their way onto the scoreboard less than five minutes into the second period with Eichel's goal; the only Sabres tally of the night.  The blue and gold put forth one of their more extended offensive possessions, and dished the puck around the Blues defense effectively ahead of the captain's marker.

The opprtunity started when Eichel accepted a pass from Sam Reinhart just outside the St. Louis blue line and found a lane to go for a skate in the offensive zone. With some help because of a Rasmus Dahlin pick set inside the faceoff circle and a well-executed screen of goalie Jordan Binnington, Eichel's wrist shot found the back of the net to cut the deficit to 2-1.

With the goal, Eichel is now just one goal shy of his career-high marker set last season when he tallied 28 goals in 77 games.

The Blues reclaimed their two-goal edge just short of six minutes later with a power play from forward David Perron. After going uncovered at the point, the veteran winger wired a slap shot through a screen set up by Zemgus Girgensons in front of Ullmark and found the net high on the glove side.

Buffalo allowed another early-period goal to start the third as St. Louis' lead swelled to 4-1.

The Blues dialed up the pressure five minutes into the frame, and had Ullmark spinning in circles and eventually out of his crease. Bozak ripped a shot that pulled Ullmark out of position, and the rebound was picked up veteran forward Alexander Steen. With an empty net staring at him, Steen cashed in on the opportunity for his first goal of the season.

Steen doubled his goal total with 4:42 to play in the game as he scored into an empty Buffalo goal.

 

GAME SUMMARY

 

Goal Summary:

First Period:

BUF: NONE
STL: 4:47 - Robert Thomas (8) (Tyler Bozak, Alexander Steen); 13:29 - Tyler Bozak (10) (Robert Thomas, Niko Mikkola)

Second Period:

BUF: 4:22 - Jack Eichel (27) (Sam Reinhart, Rasmus Dahlin)
STL: 10:17 - David Perron (19) PPG (Brayden Schenn, Jaden Schwartz)

Third Period:

BUF: NONE
STL: 5:36 - Alexander Steen (1) (Robert Thomas, Tyler Bozak); 15:18 - Alexander Steen (2) (Ryan O'Reilly)

 

Penalty Summary:

First Period:

BUF: NONE
STL: NONE

Second Period:

BUF: 9:01 - Rasmus Asplund (High-sticking - 2 min.)
STL: NONE

Third Period:

BUF: 14:50 - Rasmus Ristolainen (Roughing - 2 min.)
STL: 9:15 - Alex Pietrangelo (High-sticking - 2 min.); 14:50 - Zach Sanford (Roughing - 2 min.)

 

Shots on Goal:

BUF: 19 (7, 6, 6)
STL: 31 (11, 15, 5)
 

Goalies:

BUF: Linus Ullmark - 26 saves
STL: Jordan Binnington - 18 saves


Power Plays:

BUF: 0 for 1 (0%)
STL: 1 for 1 (100%)


Three Stars:

  1. Alexander Steen - STL
  2. Robert Thomas - STL
  3. Tyler Bozak - STL


What's Next:

The Sabres return to Buffalo for their third home to start 2020 as they host the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday afternoon at KeyBank Center. Faceoff is set for 1 p.m. with the Paul William Beltz Pregame Show starting at noon with Brian Koziol on WGR.

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