Score: Sabres - 2 | Blues - 6
Shots: BUF - 37 | STL - 28
Buffalo Sabres goals: Asplund (8), Tuch (11)
St. Louis Blues goals: Perron (25), Saad (21), Tarasenko (29, 30, 31), Buchnevich (26)
Minus 1: Goaltending
While Craig Anderson has been steady for Buffalo overall throughout the season and is a great veteran presence to have in the locker room, he can’t be the goalie of the Sabres future. Games like this one against St. Louis show just how badly Buffalo needs a young goaltender who can consistently come up with big saves and carry a large workload, something they haven’t had such Ryan Miller. Anderson was by no means the only one at fault for tonight's loss, especially with most of the Blues goals coming on the powerplay or on weird bounces, but the Sabres organization has to know that goaltending is a position that needs to take the next step for them to have more success.
Plus 2: Power’s first point
Owen Power’s first two games in the league felt very different from each other. Tuesday’s game in Toronto was Power’s first in the league, and it was a relatively quiet performance (both good and bad). While Power was held off the stat sheet against the Leafs, he performed very well defensively against Toronto’s top lines, and jumped up into the play offensively multiple times. Against the Blues, however, Power was challenged more in the defensive zone and was on the ice for a few goals, including getting humbled by Tarasenko on one of his three goals. Power was able to get his first NHL point though, on a nice assist to Alex Tuch in the high slot. While he will still have to take some time getting used to the speed and skill of the NHL, Power has already shown flashes of the talent that he can bring to Buffalo in the near future.
Minus 3: Still a ways to go
This game was just another indicator of the gap between one of the league's most successful teams, and where the Sabres are at. Buffalo actually outshot St. Louis and had many chances to score more than two goals, but were unable to take advantage of the opportunities given to them. That and the Blues powerplay success, along with a few fortunate bounces, was more than enough to propel them past the Sabres for their 9th win in the past 10 games. Buffalo is beginning to show signs of improvement as a whole, but facing a team like St. Louis is just another reminder that they still have a ways to go until they can be among the leagues best.
Rasmus Asplund scored for the second game in a row and has really proved his worth this season, especially with the work he does in the defensive zone.
St. Louis found success on the powerplay, going 2/3, while also shutting down Buffalo’s powerplay, giving up no goals on two chances.
Next up: Buffalo begins a two-game series against Philadelphia at 7:00 pm on Saturday, April 16th at KeyBank Center.