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Fabbri caps Blues comeback against Sabres

by Joe Yerdon /

BUFFALO -- The St. Louis Blues got a good bounce and a good review to get back to winning.

Robby Fabbri scored with 6:34 left in the third period to give the Blues a 2-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center on Monday.

Fabbri put a rebound of a Jay Bouwmeester shot off Sabres defenseman Josh Gorges and past goalie Linus Ullmark for his third goal of the season.

"I'll take it any way it comes. I know a lot of the guys feel that way," Fabbri said. "I was lucky to get that bounce, and we've just got to keep it going.

"I didn't know where the puck was and I was just spinning around and I looked and saw it was in the net and I put my hands up. I didn't know who put it in or if it was me or not. It was something crazy like that."

Sabres coach Dan Bylsma challenged the play, claiming the Blues were offside when they entered the zone, but after review the play was ruled good.

"I was pretty confident it wasn't offside," Bylsma said. "[There were] just six and a half minutes left, the next goal was worth challenging."

Blues forward Troy Brouwer kept his skate on the blue line as captain David Backes carried the puck into the zone.

"I just tried to drag [my foot] as long as I could," Brouwer said. "I probably could've straddled the line and gone with it, but I didn't want to lose my speed."

The Sabres had an opportunity to tie the game when Blues defenseman Carl Gunnarsson was called for closing his hand on the puck with one minute left, but the Blues penalty killers blocked four shots.

"For the first two periods, we were looking for something easier and it wasn't there," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "They weren't going to go away. They've got great structure, they've got speed, they've got tenacity, they've got size, and they are starting to mature. So you're going to have to pay a price to beat them. They are not going to give anything easy. We had to dig in a lot deeper than we were going and we did in the third period."

The Blues (14-6-2) have won two of the past three games. The Sabres (8-11-2) have lost five straight. It was the Blues' first win when trailing after two periods and the Sabres' first loss when leading after two.

"We had so many chances there that we've got to put them away early when we have them," Sabres forward Ryan O'Reilly said. "It's not good enough. It's embarrassing. … We've got to hate to lose more. I think we're too OK with losing. It's not good. We have to find a way to close that game out."

St. Louis scored twice in the third period after it was down 1-0.

Brouwer made it 1-1 at 5:07 with his fifth goal of the season. He tipped a shot from the point by Kevin Shattenkirk and backhanded the rebound past Ullmark.

"We weren't getting a lot of second opportunities," Brouwer said. "We had a couple good shifts before that, starting to get some momentum, create some opportunities. We were able to get one, and the second one was similar fashion."

Shattenkirk, the NHL's Third Star of the Week, extended his point streak to six games with the assist (two goals, six assists).

"It was a little bit of a chaotic first two periods, a little bit sloppy, some weird bounces for both teams," Blues goalie Jake Allen said. "Pucks weren't laying flat for everyone. We tried to simplify our game. We had one period. It was only 1-0. We came out and did our job."

David Legwand gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead with 3:15 left in the second period with his first goal of the season. Legwand picked up a loose puck behind the net and stuffed it past Allen.

"I thought his line did a great job," Bylsma said. "They had three or four momentum shifts for us. They go out; [Nicolas Deslauriers] did a lot of the heavy lifting winding it up there. Yes, good to see [Legwand] get on the scoresheet."

The Blues led the Sabres 49-47 in shot attempts.

"Our goalie was our best player again," Hitchcock said. "It's beginning to be like a broken record, but you're grateful for it.

"You get games like this. Some games you get there's room, and you can move, and you can maneuver. There was nothing. They were on our [backsides] and they were checking and they were frustrating our big players. I thought we dug in in the third period and that was the difference."

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