St. Louis Blues @ Buffalo Sabres Preview

The Buffalo Sabres (15-33-3) open up a five-game homestand against the St. Louis Blues (33-13-4) tonight at First Niagara Center. This is the final meeting of the regular season between these two teams. In their last meeting on November 11th, the Blues took an easy 6-1 home-victory with Jori Lehtera providing the scoring power in rare fashion by netting a natural hat trick.

Jori Lehtera (12) netted a natural hat-trick in the Blues 6-1 victory over the Sabres November 11th, 2014. Lehtera is the first Blues player to complete this in the franchise's history since Al MacInnis in 1998. Photo courtesy of Scott Rovak/Getty Images

Jori Lehtera (12) netted a natural hat-trick in the Blues 6-1 victory over the Sabres November 11th, 2014. Lehtera is the first Blues player to complete this in the franchise's history since Al MacInnis in 1998.

Photo courtesy of Scott Rovak/Getty Images

The Sabres picked up their first win in over a month, snapping a 14-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over the Canadiens on Tuesday. The streak was one loss shy of tying the third-longest losing streak set by the Philadelphia Quakers in their 1930-1931 season. Emotions were riding high in the locker room following the win on Tuesday, especially for captain Brian Gionta who once wore the “C” for Montreal. In fact, he was only the second American-born player to serve as team captain of the Canadiens, after Chris Chelios. He had this to say following the team’s win and his game-winning goal:

“We’ve got a lot of proud guys in this room, guys that had been on good teams, and it’s one of those things that no one wants to be a part of and it’s nice that we were able to get that one behind us.”   

These spirits may be short-lived as the Sabres take on a St. Louis team that is looking to set a franchise record. With their 2-1 overtime victory over Tampa Bay on Tuesday night, the Blues have recorded a point in 12 straight games (11-0-1). This win matched the franchise record and with a win or overtime loss tonight, St. Louis will set a franchise record for longest point streak.

Forward Vladamir Tarasenko credits goaltender Brian Elliot for the team’s recent success, noting how great it is to have such a strong asset on the team. Elliot has been the backbone for this Blues team that sits 3rd place in the league, just a win shy of tying Nashville and Anaheim for a share of 1st place. Elliot is 8-1-1 in his last 10 games, providing 2 shutouts, and averaging 1.9 goals per game.    

Brian Elliot (pictured above) has been red hot for the Blues, going 8-1-1 in his last 10 starts. His team looks to set a franchise record for longest point streak tonight against Buffalo. Image courtesy of Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

Brian Elliot (pictured above) has been red hot for the Blues, going 8-1-1 in his last 10 starts. His team looks to set a franchise record for longest point streak tonight against Buffalo.

Image courtesy of Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

This will be Steve Ott’s first game in Buffalo after a trade last season that sent him and Ryan Miller to St. Louis in exchange for goalie Jaroslav Halak, forward Chris Stewart, prospect William Carrier, a 2015 first-round pick, and a conditional 2016 third-round pick. In 49 games played for the Blues this year, Ott has registered 9 points (2 G, 7 A) and holds a -4 plus-minus while playing a pivotal role on the team’s penalty kill unit.  

The puck drops at 7 PM tonight with the game being televised on MSG-B and broadcasted on the Sabres flagship station, WGR 550.