The St. Louis Blues and the Buffalo Sabres locked up tonight at First Niagara Center. It was Jake Allen in net for the Blues. The Sabres would start goaltender Linus (No Blanket) Ullmark who was impressive in the loss at Scottrade just a few nights before. Paul Stastny would return after being out for 5 weeks with an ankle issue. The forward lines would see the return of the Steen/Stastny/Tarasenko line. The other three lines would start off as: Paajarvi/Lehtera/Jaskin, Upshall/Backes/Brouwer, and Ott/Brozdiak/Fabbri. Your D-parings would be: Bouwmeester/Pietrangelo, Gunnarsson/Shattenkirk and Parayko/Bortuzzo.
Right off the bat this game would see a fight between Bortuzzo and Foligno. Bortuzzo would hit Tyler Ennis cleanly. Apparently, Marcus took offense to that because he comes over and challenges Bortuzzo. Decent fight. Here's the hit that started it:
The Buffalo power play is well, it's bad. At least in the two games that the Blues and Sabres have played this year it has been. I mean they gave up a break away to Steve Ott for Christ sake.
But really, Buffalo had three more chances on the man advantage tonight (To include a min of 6 on 4 play but I'm getting ahead of myself) and couldn't well, you know, take advantage. I mean credit to the Blues PK and to Jake Allen. Not sure who said it, but I would have to agree that Allen has been the best if not the best penalty killer for the Blues this year. The best player on the ice tonight for the Blues was probably the post. Just kidding. (Kind of.) Johan Larsson looked like he had goal number one tonight, but a combination of Jake Allen and the post would stop him.
The Blues and Sabres each had 8 shots (per the Blues box score) at the end of the period, but clearly the Sabres had the better chances in the first.
PASS. Wait, I can't? I think the Blues did. No? Ok. If you had the "The Blues Are Going To Have A Shitty Second Period Against Buffalo" ticket you win. Not sure what, but you win. Sabres would have a great chance here, but David Backes would make a great defensive play to rob a 1-0 lead for the bad guys:
More Jake Allen. Here he flashes the glove against Brian Gionta. May have been an easy save for him, but I just thought it looked cool to be honest.
Later in the period, the Sabres would finally get that goal courtesy of an unassisted goal from David Legwand
I mean it wasn't exactly a scorcher, but it crossed the goal line so it counts just the same. The Blues would show a little oomph at the end of the period, but it would stay 1-0.
For the love of everything that is great Hitch took Fabbri off of the fourth line. Why he was on the fourth line tonight? I don't have an explanation for that except...Hitch. Creepy awesome mustache of Movember so far has to be Troy Brouwer. It's pretty epic. You know what else is pretty epic? This game tying goal!
What a sweet backhand from Brouwer there to get past Ullmark. Shatty and Backes would get the assists. Shattenkirk extends his point streak to six games. Hitch moving Fabbri up would pay off for the Blues as Fabbri would score the go ahead goal for the Blues. Talk about a lucky break, bounce, whatever. Thank you. I will take that and the Blues would take the 2-1 lead. After the goal the Sabres would challenge the play. Somehow Brouwer managed to stay onsides and the goal was upheld.
Paul Stastny would lead the way for the forwards tonight with 19:37 played. He didn't look like he missed a beat. Granted he does play with Tarasenko and Steen. Even with that, he was skating around at the level he was before he went down with the injury.
Brouwer would almost make it 3-1 here but was denied by...the crossbar.
The Blues would go on to win 2-1 despite a horrid hand covering the puck call. That would give the Sabres a 6 on 4 power play (pulled goalie) for about a minute at the end of the game. That call is about the dumbest in hockey. Tied right along with the delay of game, but that's for another time. The Blues would win for the first time this year after being down after 2 periods (0-6-2). Sabres were 6-0-0 when leading after two but...not anymore. The Blues travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins Wednesday night.
3rd: David Legwand (1 goal, Looks like he's balding in his NHL.com pic)
2nd: Robby Fabbri (1 goal, Didn't even know he was the one that scored it. Seriously.)
1st: Troy Brouwer (1 goal, GO GO BROUWER RANGER. Also, #ByTheBrouwerOfGreySkull for the Gametime charity hashtag)