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game recap

Steen, Thomas, Bozak lift Blues to victory against Sabres

Linemates combine for nine points, help St. Louis to second win in five games

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Steen strikes on one-timer

BUF@STL: Steen stretches lead on big one-timer

Robert Thomas dishes from behind the net to Alexander Steen, who drills a one-timer home for a three-goal Blues lead in the 3rd

  • 00:38 •

ST. LOUIS -- Linemates Alexander Steen, Robert Thomas and Tyler Bozak each had three points to help the St. Louis Blues to a 5-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres at Enterprise Center on Thursday.

Steen had two goals and an assist, and Thomas and Bozak each had a goal and two assists for St. Louis (28-10-7), which has won seven games in a row at home. Jordan Binnington made 18 saves.

"We take a lot of pride in playing in front of our fans and in our town," Steen said. "We want to make sure that it's a difficult place to play in, but in saying that, we don't really change much as far as on the road and at home. We want to have a consistent game and we try to focus as much as we can on ourselves and how we can get better."

 

[WATCH: All Sabres vs. Blues highlights]

 

Jack Eichel scored to extend his point streak to five games for the Sabres (19-18-7), who lost for the first time in three games. Linus Ullmark made 26 saves.

"I don't think we made good decisions with the puck," Eichel said. "We turned it over too much, and that's it.

"Obviously when you don't play for five (days), you're not going to be as crisp as you are usually when you're playing a lot. We were rested. We should have had a lot of energy. I just didn't think our game ever got going."

Video: BUF@STL: Thomas scores on second-chance opportunity

Thomas gave the Blues a 1-0 lead at 4:47 of the first period when he toe-dragged the puck to the right face-off circle and beat Ullmark with a wrist shot through traffic, and then set up Bozak in the slot from behind the net for a 2-0 lead at 13:29.

"Great play," Bozak said. "When he's got the puck, you've got to try and get open. He sees the ice so well and makes those good plays. [Steen] was right in front of the net, he had two guys on him there. That's another big reason why I did get that easy goal there."

Eichel cut the lead to 2-1 at 4:22 of the second. He has five points (three goals, two assists) during his streak and has had at least one point in 23 of his past 25 games (19 goals, 18 assists).

The Sabres had few scoring opportunities the rest of the game.

"Everybody needs to get hungrier to shoot on net," coach Ralph Krueger said. "I think we still give up too many opportunities, our D and our forwards, to try to make a play, and the other thing will be to get bodies there. We need to find other ways to create net pressure, and we're going to have to work hard on that to turn this result around."

David Perron scored a power-play goal at 10:17 to put St. Louis ahead 3-1.

Jaden Schwartz scored for the Blues at 17:24 of the second, but Krueger challenged for offside, and the goal was overturned after video review showed Jordan Kyrou entered the zone ahead of the puck at 17:20.

Steen scored his first goal of the season at 5:36 of the third to make it 4-1. He scored into an empty net at 5-on-4 at 15:18 for the 5-1 final.

St. Louis has won two in a row after going 0-2-1 from Dec. 31-Jan. 4.

"I thought we were pretty good defensively all around," Blues coach Craig Berube said. "I thought that we had urgency in the D zone and pressuring and not giving them time. We talked about not giving this team time and space with the puck, and I thought we did a good job of it."

Video: BUF@STL: Perron nets PPG on lengthy one-timer

 

They said it

"I had a couple days off and even in Calgary, the ice time wasn't very high there. I think I need to work on it a little bit, but I think first period, I felt pretty good, but after that a little bit, I think the energy went a little bit down." -- Sabres forward Michael Frolik, who had two shots on goal in 16:44 in his first game since being acquired in a trade from the Calgary Flames on Jan. 2

"I think we just all kind of bring a different element that meshes well together. ... It's nice to get rewarded tonight." -- Blues forward Tyler Bozak on his line with Robert Thomas and Alexander Steen

Video: BUF@STL: Bozak, Thomas link up for 2-0 lead

 

Need to know

Sabres forward Marcus Johansson had his four-game point streak end (one goal, five assists). ... Steen got his 300th assist with St. Louis on Thomas' goal, becoming the sixth player in Blues history to do so. ... The Blues are 20-0-5 when scoring first and are the only team in the NHL without a regulation loss in that scenario.

 

What's next

Sabres: Host the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; SN, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

Blues: Host the New York Rangers on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-MW, MSG, NHL.TV)

Video: Thomas, Bozak earn three points in Blues' 5-1 win

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