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St. Louis Blues vs. Buffalo Sabres @NHLdotcom
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GAME: St. Louis Blues (30-26-9-2) at Buffalo Sabres (30-30-6-1).

TIME: Sunday, 6 p.m. EST.

Both sitting in ninth place in their respective conferences, the St. Louis Blues and Buffalo Sabres will continue their playoff pushes when they meet at HSBC Arena.

The Blues, who ended a seven-game (0-4-2-1) winless streak with Saturday's 4-2 win over the New York Islanders, are two points behind the Los Angeles Kings for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The Sabres, who started fading from the race with a four-game losing streak, have rebounded with back-to-back wins over the top two teams in the Northeast Division. Buffalo topped Ottawa 4-3 on Wednesday before beating Toronto 5-1 on Saturday, leaving the Sabres seven points behind the eight-place Islanders in the Eastern Conference.

The Sabres might have a hard time cutting into the deficit against the Blues. Buffalo is winless in its last nine games against St. Louis (0-7-2), with its last victory coming on Oct. 1, 1997.

Buffalo winger Miroslav Satan, who expects to be dealt before the NHL deadline Tuesday, had a goal and two assists against the Maple Leafs.

After scoring a short-handed goal on a breakaway midway through the third period, Satan took his right hand out of his glove and pretended to be talking on a phone.

"I've been told that I should expect a phone call," Satan said. "Every time I hear the phone ringing these days I get that feeling. It's in my subconscious mind lately."

The Blues are looking to post consecutive road wins for the first time since Dec. 9-12.

Against the Islanders, Chris Osgood stopped 39 shots, and Keith Tkachuk scored his team-leading 27th goal late in the second period.

The win gave new coach Mike Kitchen his first NHL victory.

"It was nice," Kitchen said. "It wasn't our best played game, and we were a bit nervous in the third period, but we got the win."

Pavol Demitra, Mark Rycroft and Petr Cajanek also scored for the Blues.

STANDINGS (through March 5): Blues - 71 points, 3rd place, 18 PB, Central Division. Sabres - 67 points, 5th place, 19 PB, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Blues - Tkachuk, 27 goals and 60 points; Doug Weight, 42 assists; Mike Danton, 141 PIM. Sabres - Satan, 26 goals; Daniel Briere, 28 assists and 49 points; Andrew Peters, 114 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 5): Blues - Power play: 17.2 percent (50 for 291), 10th in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.2 percent (242 for 322), 16th. Sabres - Power play: 15.9 percent (45 for 283), 17th. Penalty killing: 84.6 percent (242 for 286), 11th.

GOALTENDERS: Blues - Osgood (23-22-7, 2 SO, 2.29 GAA); Reinhard Divis (3-3-1, 0, 3.37). Sabres - Martin Biron (19-13-4, 0, 2.68); Mika Noronen (11-15-2, 2, 2.47).

2002-03 SEASON SERIES: Blues, 2-0.

LAST MEETING: Feb. 11, 2003; Blues 3-2. Defenseman Jeff Finley scored with 4:59 left to end a 173-game goal drought.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blues - 12-17-3-2 on the road; Sabres - 18-11-4-1 at home.

Associated Press
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