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game recap

Robin Lehner, Sabres defeat Blues

Goalie makes 37 saves for Buffalo to end St. Louis' winning streak at six

by Joe Yerdon / NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Robin Lehner made 37 saves and Evander Kane and Nick Baptiste each had a goal and an assist to help the Buffalo Sabres to a 3-2 win against the St. Louis Blues at KeyBank Center on Saturday.

Kane gave the Sabres a 2-1 lead with 8:02 left in the second period when he deflected a shot by Zach Bogosian, after a pass by Baptiste, past Blues goalie Jake Allen for his 20th goal of the season, and 19th at even strength. 

Kane has scored 20 goals three times in his career, including in back-to-back seasons with the Sabres.

 

WATCH: All Blues vs. Sabres highlights 

 

"The even-strength goals say it all," Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. "It's hard to score in this league. It's hard to get even-strength goals in this league, and he's leading the league since Dec. 1. It hasn't been just him and his shot coming down the wing. He's got a lot of different ways and a lot of tough ways. A goal at the net, a tip-in goal, but I liked his play along the boards. That's what I look to more than that."

Buffalo (26-23-10) has won three straight games. St. Louis (31-23-5) had a six game win streak ended.

"[The win streak] was good, but it only means we can start a new one," Blues defenseman Colton Parayko said. "Win this [next] one going into break."

Ryan O'Reilly made it 3-1 with a power-play goal with 32 seconds left in the second period. With Buffalo on a 5-on-3 man advantage, O'Reilly received a pass from Rasmus Ristolainen, who skated to the right faceoff circle and took a shot that beat Allen for his 13th goal. Ristolainen's assist was his 100th NHL point.

Video: STL@BUF: O'Reilly buries a power-play goal

Scottie Upshall made it 3-2 with a shorthanded breakaway goal with 4:57 left in the third period. Upshall deflected a pass by Jack Eichel and raced past Sabres defenseman Cody Franson and beat Lehner with a backhand shot for his sixth goal.

Lehner made 16 of his 37 saves in the third period.

"We're playing one of the best hockey clubs in the NHL," Lehner said. "They're going to have chances, they're going to have shots; it's a big hockey team over there. I think we played a [heck] of a game."

Vladimir Tarasenko gave the Blues a 1-0 lead 1:31 into the first period on a delayed penalty call. Tarasenko came on as the extra skater and took a pass from Jaden Schwartz and put a shot past Lehner for his 28th goal.

Video: STL@BUF: Tarasenko beats Lehner with a quick wrister

Baptiste made it 1-1 9:34 into the first period for his third goal. He was recalled from Rochester of the American Hockey League on Saturday and replaced Sam Reinhart who missed the game with an illness.

"It was a great play; [Jack Eichel] does it all the time," Baptiste said. "When I play with Jack, I want to just open up space for him, give him the puck and get to the net and use my shot to my advantage."

Allen made 25 saves for St. Louis.

 

Goal of the game

Upshall's goal got the Blues to within one, and was the first shorthanded goal of the season for St. Louis.

Video: STL@BUF: Upshall races in for SHG on breakaway

 

Save of the game

Lehner came up with a lunging pad save against Jori Lehtera 19 seconds into the second period to keep the game tied 1-1.

Video: STL@BUF: Lehner denies Lehtera with his right pad

 

Highlight of the game

Eichel weaved through the defense of St. Louis and opened up the ice for Baptiste to score.

Video: STL@BUF: Baptiste slips home a nifty backhander

 

Unsung performance of the game

Sabres defenseman Cody Franson returned after missing the past three games with a foot injury and had one hit, one block and one shot on goal in 17:12 of ice time.

 

They said it

"Obviously, we took too many penalties, but 5-on-4, we were doing a heck of a job. But you put the league's number 1 power play in a 5-on-3 and you make things pretty tough on yourself. But even then, we still had plenty of time. That was a tough goal for us to put them up a couple going into the third period, but we kept fighting. We generated some looks around the net. Their goalie stood real tall and we get back to work now." -- Blues coach Mike Yeo

 

"For a good eight games, we've been win one, lose one, we've been every other game and now we're looking at stringing three together, being four of five here and when you're playing games that close together it adds up pretty quickly when you can win three in a row, you can get four of five and add eight points to the column. And it was against a good team, a hot team tonight against St. Louis and we've got one more chance at it before the break here." -- Sabres coach Dan Bylsma

 

Need to know

Kyle Brodziak returned to the Blues lineup after missing the past 10 games with a right foot injury… The Sabres are 5-2-0 in afternoon games this season… Kane has 14 points in the past 13 games.

 

What's next

Blues: Home against the Florida Panthers on Monday (8 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVA Sports, FS-MW, FS-F, NHL.TV)

Sabres: Home against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday (6 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Lehner's 37-save performance leads Sabres past Blues

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