The St.Louis Blues (31-19-3) head to KeyBank Center to take on the Buffalo Sabres (14-28-9) tonight at 6PM Central. After a bitter loss to the Boston Bruins on Thursday, the Blues are looking to return to the win column against the perma-struggling Sabres.
Buffalo’s record might be abysmal, but Jack Eichel is still an elite forward who can hurt you six ways from Sunday. Not to mention that the Blues (as evidenced by the way Arizona throttled them last month) have been struggling to get wins from basement-dwelling opponents this season. The Sabres will be looking to play a disciplined game at home tonight:
“In Thursday’s loss to the Florida Panthers, the Sabres quickly fell behind the eight-ball with four penalties in the first period. That helped set the tone of what became a disappointing 4-2 defeat.
“We can’t start the game taking four penalties,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said, according to the team’s website. “Everything was going in the right direction (and) we take a penalty. I understand we’re going to have to kill penalties, but we shoot a puck over the glass five-on-three and we lose a draw. Now we’re chasing the game again.
“We definitely had enough chances after the first period. I thought we had them on the ropes a couple of times. Unfortunately, we were missing the net, trying to be too fine.”
Ryan O’Reilly and Zemgus Girgensons scored for Buffalo against Florida.
The Sabres have slowed down on offense after a burst in their trip through western Canada. Last week, the Sabres picked up a 4-0 win over Vancouver and a 5-0 win over Edmonton — but those performances seem to be the exceptions to the rule considering the all-around struggles this season.
Chad Johnson got the start for Buffalo against Florida, so starter Robin Lehner will likely return between the pipes against St. Louis. Lehner has a save percentage of .912 in 38 games played this season.” [Fox Sports]
The Blues have only two non-playoff teams on the docket for the entire month of February, and Saturday’s tilt against Buffalo is one of them. There is no such thing as a day off in the Central Division, and the Blues will need to get a least a point against the Sabres and the Red Wings later this month.
Nashville has gone 7-1-2 over their last 10 games. Colorado? 7-2-1 over their last 10. Winnipeg, Dallas, and Minnesota have all notched 6 wins over their last 10 games, too. The Division is heating up at the right moment, and the cushion the Blues had built in the standings during the first half of the season has totally evaporated. St.Louis needs to put some wins together, and if you can’t beat Buffalo, who can you beat?