Sabres play sour note, fall 5-1 to Blues

January 09, 2020 - 7:11 pm

The Buffalo Sabres laid an egg in enemy territory on Thursday night.

Visiting the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues, the Sabres struggled out of the gates and suffered their first loss since the turn of the calendar year, 5-1 inside Enterprise Arena.

The Blues opened the scoring 4:47 into this affair. 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 Linus Ullmark for an early St. Louis advantage.

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

Much like Thomas and St. Louis in the first frame, Buffalo returned the favor and found their way onto the scoreboard less than five minutes into the middle stanza. The Sabres put forth one of their more exended offensive possessions, and dished the puck around the Blues defense effectively. Jack Eichel accepted a pass from Sam Reinhart, and found a lane set up by a well-executed screen of goalie Jordan Binnington. Eichel took his shot and deposited his 27th goal of the season to cut the deficit in half at 2-1.

With the tally, Eichel now sat just one goal short of his career high in that department, set in 2018-19.

The Blues reclaimed their two-goal edge just short of six-minutes later, though. On the game's first powerplay, forward David Perron found himself uncovered at the point. The veteran wired a slap shot high past Ullmark's glove and gave St. Louis a 3-1 lead in the process.

Buffalo allowed another early-period goal as the third commenced, as St. Louis' lead swelled to 4-1. The Blues dialed up the pressure five-minutes into the frame, and had Ullmark spinning circles in and eventually out of his crease. Bozak ripped a shot that especially pulled Ullmark out of position, and the rebound was picked up veteran forward Alexander Steen. With essentially an empty net, Steen cashed in on the opportunity for his first goal of the season.

Steen doubled his fun with 4:42 to play in the game as he scored his second of the season with an empty-net goal. Following offsetting penalties to Rasmus Ristolainen and Blues defenseman Zach Sanford, the Sabres opted to pull Ullmark in a last-ditch, comeback effort. It was for naught, though, as a turnover resultsed in Blues goal number five.


Goal Summary:

First Period:

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:

STL: 5:36 - Alexander Steen (1) (Robert Thomas, Tyler Bozak); 15:18 - Alexander Steen (2) (Ryan O'Reilly)

Penalty Summary:

First Period:


Second Period:

BUF: 9:01 - Rasmus Asplund (High-sticking - 2 min.)

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)


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 blue and gold come back to Buffalo for their third home game out of four contests to start year 2020, as they will get ready to host the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday afternoon. Puck drop inside KeyBank Center is set for 1 p.m.; the Paul William Beltz Pre-Game Show starts at 12 p.m. with Brian Koziol on WGR.

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