Quick Hits: Sabres at Blues

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For the fifth time in the last five games, the Buffalo Sabres failed to record a victory (0-3-2), and it wasn’t even close.

Hockey Night in St. Louis did not start off so kind for the Buffalo Sabres. The Blues came out, as if their skates were on fire and it showed. St. Louis held an early 8-1 shot differential, but could not gather the early advantage in the goal column.

Buffalo’s first opportunity at taking an advantage for themselves came on a power play, after Scottie Upshall was called for hooking.

Almost like clockwork, the play began with Kyle Okposo on the half-wall. Okposo passed the puck over to Matt Moulson, who took a shot on goal. Sam Reinhart was ready and waiting in front of the net to accept the puck and push it past Jake Allen.

Sam Reinhart’s 3rd goal of the season, at 7:55 of the first period, put Buffalo up 1-0.

It wouldn’t be a Buffalo lead for long though, thanks to a Sabres bench minor for too much man.

With Nick Baptiste in the penalty box, the Blues took little time to fool around. Off the faceoff, Kevin Shattenkirk dispatched the puck from the point to the stick of Vladmir Tarasenko. From there, Tarasenko found a wide open Robby Fabbri, who made absolutely no mistake in blasting the puck past a lunging Robin Lehner.

For Buffalo, it appeared as if Josh Gorges was trying to be in too many places at once and he just flat out missed the assignment on Fabbri.

Either way, Fabbri’s 4th of the season, at 10:58 of the first period, tied the game up at one.

The second period featured no goals, but we did see an increase in hatred towards one another. This came following a Josh Gorges hit on Alexander Steen, which certainly riled up the Blues. This was evident following the fight between Robby Fabbri and Josh Gorges.

Through two periods, blood pressures were rising but the score was still tied at 1.

St. Louis would not waste much time in the third to tear this one open, following a tight second period.

Just 44 seconds into the third period, a napping Sam Reinhart on a backcheck led to a magnificent chance for Jaden Schwartz. Magnificent in this context means a yawning net. Robin Lehner had no chance.

Schwartz’s 4th of the season pushed St. Louis to a 2-1 lead.

Minutes later, the Blues would strike again following another Sabres mental lapse. Casey Nelson let Kyle Brodziak get behind him, which opened a play up for St. Louis. A point shot from Ryan Reaves was tipped perfectly by Brodziak, for his 1st goal of the season.

Brodziak’s tally pushed St. Louis’ lead to 3-1.

As the game passed, Buffalo just did not have any gas left in the tank. Offensive chances found themselves to be few and far between, as the Sabres continued to struggle to manufacture goals.

A Scottie Upshall empty net goal at 18:34, of the third period, would be the final nail in the coffin. St. Louis would wrap up a 4-1 victory over the Sabres in impressive fashion.

With this loss, the Sabres fall to 5-7-4 on the season with 14 points. This puts Buffalo in 15th place in the Eastern Conference

The Buffalo Sabres head back home for a tough matchup this Thursday night, when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Key Bank Center. Puck drops shortly after 7 PM and the game will be broadcast locally on MSG.

Now, to the quick hits!

*thunderclap*

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    • Injuries Strike Again!
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The Sabres season, in GIF format.

With tonight’s game included, the Buffalo Sabres have lost 77 man-games, which ranks them in the top-10 of the league.

At this point, you’d be better off just referring to the Sabres as the walking dead. Seven players find themselves currently out of the line-up. This includes forward Cody McCormick, who is not expected to suit up for the Sabres again, due to a recurrence of blood clots.

Jack Eichel has missed 16 games with a high-ankle sprain, Nicolas Deslauriers has missed 9 games with a knee injury, Zach Bogosian is up to 7 games with a MCL sprain, Tyler Ennis has missed 4 games with a groin issue, Dmitry Kulikov is up to 3 games missed with an undisclosed injury and Ryan O’Reilly has missed 2 games with a “middle-body” injury.

Even worse for Buffalo is this nugget presented to us by @ManGamesLostNHL:

Buffalo has done a decent job keeping themselves somewhat in the picture early on in the season, but injuries are mounting up at an absurd pace. If injuries continue to pile, the Sabres could be in a rough position with managing expectations moving forward.

    • Rumor Watch

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Kane trade rumors got me like.

The rumblings continue, but this time with the Vancouver Canucks. Will GMTM deal Evander Kane? We are trending in the direction of “YASSSSSSSSSSS”.

It is no secret the Tim Murray and the Buffalo Sabres have been less than pleased with Kane’s off-ice antics. After hoping a change of scenery would do Kane a positive, things have arguably gotten worse for him. We have heard the rumors about Minnesota and Kane, now we get the rumors about Vancouver and Kane.

Vancouver is Kane’s home town and the Canucks need offense, so the fit is damn near perfect.

Could GMTM wrangle a Christopher Tanev away from Jim Benning? Stay tuned to see what happens.

For now, these rumors got me feeling some kind of way.

    • Where Did All The Goals Go?

Yeah, we understand. Jack Eichel, Ryan O’Reilly and Tyler Ennis, to a potential extent.

With these injuries hampering things still, as highlighted above, the goal reservoir has completely dried up. In their last 5 games, Buffalo has scored 5 total goals and allowed 16 goals.

I’m not a mathematician but I know that is bad. Buffalo is going to lose a lot of games if they can’t get this thing together.

    • Tweet of Game

Written by Ryan Wolfe

Ryan Wolfe is the founder and editor-in-chief of BLTD Sports. He can be heard on the BLTD Podcast. Ryan's writing is also featured over at TheHockeyWriters.com.

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