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Sabres Continue Road Trip Against St. Louis

Buffalo Needs to Bounce Back in Blues Matchup

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at St. Louis Blues Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Game 53

Buffalo Sabres (16-28-8) vs. St. Louis Blues (30-14-6)

Puck Drop: 8:00PM EST (7:00PM CST) | Enterprise Center | St. Louis, MO

TV: MSG-B, Bally Sports Midwest

Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation St. Louis Blues Blog: St. Louis Game Time

Know Your Opponent

St. Louis Blues

Record: (30-14-6)

Last Game: 4-1 Win Over Philadelphia

Division Ranking: 2nd in the Central Division

PP: 3rd (26.71%)

PK: 4th (84.83%)

What to Watch

1. Will the Sabres End Their Most Recent Losing Streak?

The Buffalo Sabres haven’t won a game since Feb. 15th, when they beat the New York Islanders 6-3. During the Sabres’ last meeting with Montreal, Buffalo let the Habs shut them out 4-0. Nobody expects Buffalo to prevail against a team that’s in 2nd place in the NHL’s Central Division, but it would be a rare treat to see the Sabres compete the way they have in moments that have been few and far between this season.

2. Okposo and Olofsson Are Back

The Sabres have been devastated by repeated injuries and illnesses. As soon as one COVID outbreak or plague of bodily wounds ends, another rash of misfortune begins. The latest wave of pain hit Kyle Okposo, Victor Olofsson and Henri Jokiharju. All three players have suffered non-COVID related injuries lately and didn’t play against the Canadiens during their 4-0 Sabres rout.

Good news for the Sabres, Okposo and Olofsson are back in the lineup, according to The Morning Puck. Buffalo badly needs them to make plays and score points. Hopefully Jokiharju will also make his return soon.

3. Line Versus Line, Who’s Better?

The St. Louis Blues’ top defensive line of Niko Mikkola and Colton Parayko has been shutting down other teams’ normally high-scoring offenses. The two defensemen stopped the Auston Matthews Leafs line, the Brady Tkachuk Senators line and the Alex DeBrincat Blackhawks line from scoring. During their past five games, amazingly, only the Habs managed to get past their defensive wall. Buffalo’s top offensive trio of Skinner, Thompson and Tuch have been creating scoring opportunities and getting goals. It’ll be interesting to see if they can crack the Blues’ defensive duo.

4. Tage Thompson Plays Against His Former Team

Former St. Louis Blues player Tage Thompson returns to his former home ice arena in a Sabres jersey. The Blues’ SB Nation blog, St. Louis Game Time, touted Thompson’s blossoming season with Buffalo, getting 38 points, 20 goals and 18 assists. Sabres fans hope he’ll continue to do well, especially against a tough opponent like the Blues.

Projected Lineups

Buffalo Sabres

Forwards

Jeff Skinner-Tage Thompson-Alex Tuch

Ramus Asplund-Dylan Cozens-Kyle Okposo

Peyton Krebs-Casey Middlestadt-Victor Olofsson

Anders Bjork-Cody Eakin-John Hayden

Defense

Rasmus Dahlin-Casey Fitzgerald

Mattias Samuelsson-Jacob Bryson

Robert Hagg-Mark Pysyk

Starting Goalie: Dustin Tokarski

St. Louis Blues

Forwards

Logan Brown-Ryan O’Reilly-David Perron

Pavel Buchnevich-Robert Thomas-Vladmir Tarasenko

Ivan Barbashev-Dakota Joshua-Jordan Kyrou

Klim Kostin-Tyler Bozak-Oskar Sunqvist

Defense

Nikko Mikola-Colton Parayko

Torey Krub-Justin Faulk

Jake Walman-Robert Bortruzzo

Starting Goalie: Jordan Binnington