BLUES AT SABRES
When: Thursday, April 14 at 6 pm CT
Where: KeyBank Center in Buffalo, NY
Watch: Bally Sports Midwest Extra, Bally Sports app | CHANNEL NUMBERS
Listen: 101 ESPN, NHL App
BLUES The excitement at TD Garden on Tuesday began right at puck drop. Both the St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins, in a rematch of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, scored in the game’s opening minute.
In what was a poetic return to the lineup – missing 10 games due to injury and returning against his former team on his 31st birthday – Torey Krug quickly made an impact, notching a goal and an assist on the ice he used to call home.
“It was fun,” Krug said. “Obviously, a lot of different emotions throughout the day. It’s been a while since I’ve been back here in the building, and it was capped off pretty nicely with a win for us.”
The 4-2 win was the Blues ’sixth in a row, marking their longest win streak of the season and extending their point streak to nine games (8-0-1). During this red-hot stretch, the team has scored at least four or more goals in every game – more than doubling their previous best streak.
Robert Thomas and Pavel Buchnevich continued to tear it up as linemates, extending their point streaks by assisting Vladimir Tarasenko‘s 27th and 28th goals of the season.
With the offense clicking, and the defense returning to full strength – Krug only played one game with new blueliner Nick Leddy before being sidelined – the Blues will take their talents to Buffalo to try and keep the momentum going.
The Blues enter Thursday’s matchup tied with Minnesota at 96 points – though the Wild has a game in hand to break the tie – for second in the Central Division, owning a record of 43-20-10.
Sabers Though the Buffalo Sabers have recently been eliminated from Playoff contention for an NHL-record 11th consecutive season, they have reason to be optimistic about the future.
Tage Thompson – acquired from the Blues in the trade for Ryan O’Reilly – has been leading an impressive group of young forwards. Six of the Sabers’ Top 10 point scorers this year are 25 years old or younger, and only one is over 30.
Defender Rasmus Dahlin, 21, has a career-high 46 points, 20-year-old Dylan Cozens has 36 points, and 25-year-old Alex Tuch and 21-year-old Peyton Krebs have been productive since coming to Buffalo from Vegas earlier this year.
The young Sabers also put together a strong run in March, collecting an eight-game point streak as part of a 7-1-3 stretch.
Buffalo is fresh off an impressive win over the Playoff-bound Toronto Maple Leafs, getting goals from five different skaters and snapping a 16-game point streak from superstar Auston Matthews. The win came at the end of a tremendously challenging road trip that went through Carolina, Florida and Tampa Bay before heading to Toronto.
Buffalo will host the Blues on Thursday with a record of 27-37-11, worth 65 points and sixth place in the Atlantic Division.
HEAD-TO-HEAD The Blues beat the Sabers 5-3 earlier this season at Enterprise Center, and Thursday’s game will wrap up the season series.
The Blues are 5-1-1 in their last seven matchups against Buffalo and last visited the Sabers on Dec. 10, 2019.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
BLUES Robert Thomas has been sensational during his 10-game point streak, currently the second longest active streak in the League. He’s scored six of his 18 goals on the season and dished out 12 assists during this run.
Sabers Tage Thompson notched his 33rd goal of the season in Tuesday’s win over the Maple Leafs. The 24-year-old forward has eight points in his last seven games, and scored a power-play goal in St. Louis. Louis earlier this season.
Ville Husso has won seven consecutive starts, going 7-0-1 in his last eight appearances with a .935 save percentage … The Blues are 14-for-14 on penalty kills in their last nine games, dating back to March 28 .. Buchnevich has an active seven-game point streak, his highest as a Blue, which also matches the highest in his career … Tarasenko leads the Blues with eight game-winning goals, matching his career-best mark set in 2016-17 .