Gameday: Blues at Sabres

Blues forward Jordan Kyrou (33) stretches during warmups before the game. (Photo courtesy: Jeff Chevrier, Getty Images)

12/10: Blues/Sabres, Keybank Center, 6:30pm CT – FSMW, NBCSN, ESPN 101.1

BUFFALO – The St. Louis Blues (18-7-6) look to get back in the win column tonight against the Buffalo Sabres (14-11-6). The Blues suffered a brutal loss at home to the struggling Maple Leafs, allowing two powerplay goals and a shorthanded goal to lose 5-2.

Four goals in the first period chased goaltender Jordan Binnington out of the net for the first time in his regular season career, after allowing four goals on 10 shots.

“You look at this game, and it’s disappointing,” center Ryan O’Reilly told the Post-Dispatch. “We needed a response from the last one [loss at Pittsburgh] and we didn’t get it. We have to find a way to get back to that beginner’s mindset and re-invent ourselves again and start moving forward.”

Buffalo managed to keep McDavid and Draisaitl off the score sheet in a 3-2 overtime win over the Oilers on Sunday. Eichel got an assist on the overtime winner, extending his point streak to 13 games and earning 3rd Star of the Week honors from NHL.com. It was also coach Ralph Krueger’s first win in Rogers Place since getting fired by the Oilers.

“[Krueger]’s a guy that everybody wants to play for. I know talking to the guys that were in Edmonton that had him, I didn’t hear one bad thing about him,” forward Kyle Okposo told Buffalo News. “He’s pushing us to be better, and we’re appreciative that we have him.”

The Sabres and Blues face off for the first time this season in Keybank Center, meeting again in January. The Blues took three of four points against the Sabres last year, winning one and losing one in a shootout. St. Louis is on national TV for the second time in a week, as well as playing on their flagship Fox Sports Midwest and radio broadcast on ESPN 101.1.

Bending, Not Breaking(?)

The Blues can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to injuries early in the season. With Zach Sanford sustaining an undisclosed upper-body injury against Toronto, the Blues are now without five forwards thanks to injury. It’s taken almost every star to align, but fan favorite prospect Jordan Kyrou looks to finally step on NHL ice for the first time this season.

“As injuries have piled up and you lose a guy like Vladi (Tarasenko), a 35-goal scorer out of your lineup, you’ve got to find goals somewhere,” head coach Craig Berube said. “I’ve just kind of been juggling a little bit, probably a little too much at times.”

In 16 games with the San Antonio Rampage, Kyrou has 9 goals and 15 points, third on the active roster with almost 10 less games played. He was third in team points last season, with 16 goals and 43 points in 47 AHL games before a knee injury took him out for the season. A 2nd round pick in 2016 by St. Louis, the 21-year-old Kyrou played 16 games with the Blues last year, recording one goal and two assists.

Austin Poganski was also recalled with Kyrou after a 4-1 loss to the Marlies. Pogasnki was a healthy scratch through 5 games before getting sent down to play against Toronto’s AHL affiliate, where he will likely be another healthy scratch tonight.

Blue Notes

Ivan Barbashev scored his 5th goal in the loss against Toronto, his third goal in 5 games and 7th point in 6 games.

The Blues and Sabres drop the puck in Buffalo tonight at 7:30pm ET. To follow tonight’s game, tune in to:

STL: FSMW, NBCSN, ESPN 101.1, NHL.com

BUF: NBCSN, WGR 550, NHL.com

For local Blues stories, recaps, insights and more, visit bluesrants.com!

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