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St. Louis Defeats Buffalo 4-1

The Sabres visited St. Louis Thursday night to take on our Blues. Buffalo was coming off of a win at home against Anaheim (3-0) last Saturday. St. Louis also won last Saturday, against Calgary (3-1). Both clubs had 4 days of rest. Sabres had lost 3 of their last 5 games. The Blues had won 3 of their last 5. Former Blues, Vladimir SobotkaTage Thompson, and Carter Hutton made a first return to St. Louis to be hosted by former Sabre, Ryan O’Reilly who’d also be playing his former team for the first time. This was the first of a 5 game homestand for the Blues.


Team Records

  • Blues: (14-16-4) Home: (8-9-2)
  • Sabres: (21-11-5) Away: (9-7-3)

There’d only be one change for the Blues, and that was Larry Robinson. He would no longer be behind the bench as an Assistant but assume his role as a Consultant. St. Louis, however, wouldn’t make any changes on the ice, going with the same lineup used in Calgary.

Blues Forward Lines

  1. Schwartz, Schenn, Tarasenko
  2. Steen, O’Reilly, Perron
  3. Maroon, Bozak, Thomas
  4. Nolan, Barbashev, Sundqvist

Blues Defensive Pairings

  1. Edmundson, Parayko
  2. Bouwmeester, Bortuzzo
  3. Dunn, Butler

Starting Goaltenders

STL – Jake Allen: (12-10-4, 3.09 GAA, .900 SP)

BUF – Carter Hutton: (13-10-2, 2.58 GAA, .917 SP)


Goals Scored: Robert Thomas, Jay Bouwmeester, Patrick Maroon, Jack Eichel, Ryan O’Reilly


Three Stars

  1. Robert Thomas (1G, 1A)
  2. Jake Allen (Saved 30 of 31)
  3. Ryan O’Reilly (1G)

Game Summary

1st Period

The Blues didn’t come out flying the way they’d like to have. St. Louis put 2 shots on goal throughout the 1st 10:40 of the game. The boys did, however, show a willingness to block shots.

Vladimir Tarasenko stole the puck near the corner to Hutton’s left. He sent a pass over toward Jaden Schwartz through the slot. A Sabres stick made it into the passing lane to break up the play. This was a sure goal otherwise.

Just over 5 minutes in, Joel Edmundson was called for tripping Marco Scandella which was a questionable call. There was no stick on skate. Joel’s skate made contact with Scandella’s skate, but Scandella was already off balance.

Buffalo was held to 2 shots on the Power Play.

Jaden Schwartz got behind the Sabres defense and had a solid breakaway opportunity but shot high. Moments after, Schwartz saw another opportunity at the doorstep but a bouncing puck wasn’t a friendly one.

Jake Allen made his best save on Rasmus Dahlin with 5 and a half minutes remaining in the 1st.

The Blues won 71% of the faceoffs in the 1st period, but they only put 6 shots on goal.

Buffalo put 10 shots on goal, and the Blues blocked 7 shot attempts.

Jake Allen played a solid period in goal, and Hutton was hardly challenged in my opinion. Jake kept these boys in the game.

Blues and Sabres were scoreless.

2nd Period

It took two shots for the Blues to get on the board at 2:03 in the 1st.

The Blues scored an ugly grinder goal 2 minutes in. Robert Thomas was credited with the goal because he was the last to touch it before Hutton knocked it in. Tyler Bozak originally set up Vince Dunn from behind the goal line to create this opportunity.

Robert Thomas had another chance later. He tried to go upstairs but Carter Hutton answered with a flash of the glove.

6:29, the Blues really started to pressure. Jaden Schwartz was playing like his old self. Everyone was clicking and it resulted in Marco Scandella tripping Brayden Schenn behind Hutton’s net.

Sabres killed the penalty, allowing St. Louis 0 shots.

Halfway through this game, teams were even at 12 shots on goal.

The Blues then scored 2 goals in just 54 seconds.

(10:01) David Perron did his thing. He created space by holding onto the puck in the corner until the perfect time to find a wide-open Jay Bouwmeester who made no mistake. Alexander Steen also received an assist on the play.


Pat Maroon then capitalized shortly after (10:55) who was behind the goal line to Hutton’s right side. Robert Thomas created a fancy play and sent it Pat’s way. Maroon would cash in and make it 3-0 Blues.


Joel Edmundson was called for tripping Jack Eichel. Buffalo then went on the Power Play and Jack Eichel scored from the top of the left circle to make it 3-1 Blues. Rasmus Ristolainen and Sam Reinhart were credited with the assists.


The Blues were able to play a much better 2nd period, putting 11 shots on goal and scoring 3 in the 2nd period

Jake Allen was able to stop 11 of 12 in the 2nd, keeping his Blues a 2 goal lead.

3rd Period

A key play that no one will bring to light was a strong backcheck by Jordan Nolan that I believe saved the Blues a goal against.

He’d later send a great pass to Oskar Sundqvist who unfortunately whiffed on the shot.

In the 1st 5 minutes, we saw the Blues pressure the Sabres quite a bit. There were chances for Tarasenko, O’Reilly, Maroon, Thomas, Steen, and Butler.

(8:59) A beautiful tic tac toe play resulted in Alex Steen missing a wide-open net. This should have been an easy goal as Carter Hutton was down.

Ryan O’Reilly put the Blues up 4-1. O’Reilly poked the puck free along the boards, rushed in and beat Hutton high blocker.

Jake Allen saved 30 of 31.

 


My Thoughts

I saw a lot of good things. I saw Schwartz playing with some pep in his step. I was happy to see Robert Thomas get 1st star of the game. Heck, I saw Jay Bouwmeester score a goal. Pat Maroon is trending in the right direction. He looks much more comfortable. David Perron picked up 2 assists and managed to stay out of the box. Ryan O’Reilly is a rock star.

Jake Allen played fantastic, and the Blues played really well in front of him for the 2nd and 3rd periods. Jake made a huge difference in this game having his boys backs in the 1st.

The Blues have won 2 in a row. Let’s get 3 for the first time this season and go from there.

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