BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Ty Conklin stopped 25 shots to lead the Blues to a 3-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday, shortly after St. Louis traded captain Eric Brewer to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
T.J. Oshie had a goal and assist to enjoy his first two-point outing since he returned Jan. 18 after missing 31 games with a broken left ankle. David Backes and Vladimir Sobotka, with an empty-netter, also scored for the Blues, who won their second in a row and improved to 4-1-2 in their past seven.
The Sabres, coming off a 2-1 loss to Toronto on Wednesday, lost two straight for the first time during a 21-game stretch in which they're now 13-6-2. They also squandered a chance to move two points ahead of idle 10th-place Atlanta in the Eastern Conference standings....more.
Mike Weber took a tripping penalty late in the second period when he stuck out his leg and took down St. Louis’ Alexander Steen as the players crossed paths in the neutral zone. On the ensuing power play, the Blues calmly worked the puck around the Buffalo zone until Alex Pietrangelo fed David Backes for a one-timer a few feet inside the blue line. Backes fired a laser over the right shoulder of Ryan Miller into the top corner of the net, extending the Blues’ lead to 2-0. The goal would be more than enough for St. Louis, which added an empty-netter late in the third period. Backes’ goal came on the heels of a Buffalo power play earlier in the period that was unable to capitalize.
Former Sabre Ty Conklin continued his sterling play against the Sabres as the goaltender recorded his second career shutout over the team and improved his all-time record versus Buffalo to 7-1-0. Conklin turned aside all 25 shots he faced en route to the 16th shutout of his NHL career. The native of Anchorage, Alaska only needed to make seven saves in the third period, although a shot by Patrick Kaleta
off of a face-off rang off the post, nearly ending Conklin’s bid for a shutout. He started the game as a result of an injury to Blues’ goalie Jaroslav Halak, who was placed in Injured Reserve by the team on Thursday.
- Tonight’s loss, which followed a 2-1 defeat to Toronto on Wednesday, marked the first time Buffalo has lost consecutive games since Dec. 23 (vs. Florida) and Dec. 27 (at Calgary).
- The Sabres were shutout for the first time in 34 games. The last time they were held scoreless was Nov. 24 when they lost 1-0 to Pittsburgh.
We’ve got some work to do. We’ve definitely got some work to do. That was flat-out disappointing. - Head Coach Lindy Ruff
- Hours before the game, St. Louis traded its captain, defenseman Eric Brewer, to Tampa Bay in exchange for prospect Brock Beukeboom and a third round pick in the 2011 Entry Draft. Brewer had served as the Blues’ captain since 2008 and registered 8-6-14 in 54 games for St. Louis this season.
- Steve Montador returned to the lineup after missing five games due to injury and logged 19:19 of ice time while finishing with one shot, one hit, one blocked shot and a -1 rating.
- Paul Gaustad, who entered the game ranked 3rd in the NHL in faceoff winning percentage, won eight of his 13 attempts versus St. Louis.
- With the win, the Blues are now 7-2-2 in their last 11 visits to Buffalo.
- After scoring 22 goals in a four-game span from Feb. 5 to Feb. 13, the Sabres have managed just three goals in their last three games (not including the goal they were awarded for beating Montreal in a shootout on Tuesday.)
- Buffalo has gone 1-for-14 on the power play in the last five games.
- Jordan Leopold
led the Sabres in ice time at 23:22 while Patrick Kaleta
, who was scratched last game, recorded a season-high five shots on goal.
- Forward Rob Niedermayer and defensemen Chris Butler and Craig Rivet were scratched for Buffalo. Butler had played the previous five games while Montador was out with an injury.
The longest homestand of the season continues Sunday when the Sabres host the Washington Capitals at a special 12:30 p.m. start time. The Sabres and Capitals have already played twice this season, with both games coming within a five-day span back in November. Buffalo won the first meeting when Thomas Vanek scored a sensational overtime goal on home ice to clinch a 3-2 victory. Days later, the teams faced off in Washington, where the Caps evened the season series with a 4-2 win. Jordan Leopold has recorded one goal and three assists versus Washington this season to lead Buffalo while Vanek has notched two goals and one assist. As always, the Caps are led by Alex Ovechkin, who ranks ninth in the NHL with 60 points (23-37-60) on the season.