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Recap: Sabres fall flat out of holiday break, lose to Blues

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Buffalo’s return to the ice post-holiday break was not a gift to the waiting fans.

NHLI via Getty Images

The return to St. Louis for ex-Blues Carter Hutton, Tage Thompson and Vladmir Sobotka did not go to plan.

Buffalo flew in this morning for tonight’s Blues game and the result certainly showed. The Sabres struggled the entire night to keep up with the Blues’ overall game.

Throughout the first period, back-and-forth chances were exchanged with Buffalo ending the period with the upper-hand on shots but the game headed into the first intermission scoreless.

The second period is when the wheels absolutely fell off.

Robert Thomas kicked off the Blues goal party with a very fluky goal.

A scrum in front of the net turned into a loose puck rolling around. What appeared to be a stop by Carter Hutton developed into Hutton elbowing the puck into the net.

Thomas’ third goal of the season, at 2:03 of the second, gave St. Louis a 1-0 lead.

Midway through the period, St. Louis struck again.

Jay Bouwmeester was left alone in the slot and put the puck past Hutton with little issue. Bouwmeester’s first of the season, at 10:01 of the second, gave the Blues a 2-0 lead.

Less than a minute later, a lurking Pat Maroon would find himself in the right place at the right time.

Maroon found a Robert Thomas pass and immediately deposited it behind Carter Hutton, on the backhand.

Maroon’s third goal of the season, at 10:55 of the second, pushed the Blues to a 3-0 lead.

Buffalo would finally wake themselves up from the apparent jet lag late in the second period.

A late power play gave the Sabres an opportunity and they would not pass it up.

Another no-doubter from Jack Eichel would finally break the shutout for Buffalo.

Eichel’s 15th of the season, at 17:25 of the second, would cut St. Louis’ lead to 3-1.

Unfortunately for Buffalo, that is as close as they would get all night.

To add insult to injury, ex-Buffalo Sabres forward Ryan O’Reilly would get his own little mark of revenge late in the final period.

O’Reilly’s 14th goal of the season, at 13:47 of the third period, would be that revenge.

The Blues would close out the third period strong and shut the door on a 3-1 Sabres loss.

Final: Blues 4, Sabres 1

Shots on Goal: Blues 32 | Sabres 31

Sabres Goal Scorers: Jack Eichel (15)

Blues Goal Scorers: Robert Thomas (3), Jay Bouwmeester (1), Pat Maroon (3), Ryan O’Reilly (14)

Three Stars of the Game

1. Robert Thomas (1 G, 1 A)

2. Alexander Steen (2 A)

3. Ryan O’Reilly (1 G)