Game Report: Sabres 3, Blues 2

With the Blues trailing by a goal late in Saturday’s game in Buffalo, Vladimir Tarasenko had the puck on his stick, ready to fire a shot to potentially tie the game and send it to overtime.

His stick broke, and the Blues saw their six-game winning streak come to an end.

The Blues trailed 3-1 going to the third period after the Sabres scored twice in the second period, but were able to cut the lead to 3-2 on a shorthanded goal by Scottie Upshall with 4:57 to play. It was the first shorthanded goal scored by the Blues this season.

A penalty on Sabres’ goalie Robin Lehnan for tripping Alexander Steen put the Blues on the power play with 1:12 to play and shortly thereafter they pulled goalie Jake Allen, giving them a 6-on-4 advantage in the closing seconds but they could not come up with the tying goal.

The Blues had 17 shots on goal in the third period and 39 for the game.

The Sabres took the 3-1 lead on a goal by Ryan O’Reilly with 32 seconds left in the second period, coming while Buffalo had a 5-on-3 advantage for 45 seconds because of minor penalties to Kenny Agostino and Upshall.

The goal was the first allowed on the power play by the Blues since Mike Yeo took over as the head coach on Feb. 1, ending a streak of 24 successful penalty kills.

Tarasenko scored the first goal for the Blues, his 28th of the season, off a pass from Jaden Schwartz just 1:31 into the game. It came on a delayed penalty against the Sabres.
Nicholas Baptiste and Evander Kane scored the first two goals for the Sabres.

Allen, getting the start in goal for the second consecutive game, saw his personal four-game winning streak snapped as he allowed the three goals on 28 shots.

The Blues are now 7-2 under Yeo.

Of note: The win was the first for the Sabres against the Blues since Dec. 27, 2009. The Blues had won the last nine games between the two teams … The game was the third for the Blues in the span of about 66 hours, in three different cities, having played Wednesday night in Detroit and Thursday night at home … Kyle Brodziak returned to the Blues’ lineup after missing 10 games because of a foot injury … Paul Stastny, who was on the trip, was held out for one more game. He could play on Monday night after sitting out four games because of a lower-body injury.

Looking ahead: The Blues will be back home on Monday night to host the Florida Panthers before beginning their league-mandated break. They will be off until Feb. 26, when they will travel to Chicago to play the Blackhawks.