Sabres drop third straight game after All-Star Break

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Home might be where the heart is.

But for the Buffalo Sabres, home is NOT where the wins are.

The Sabres have lost three straight after the All-Star break, all at home, with a 1-0 defeat to St. Louis last night at KeyBank Center.

Buffalo remains tied with Arizona for the fewest home wins (six) in the NHL this season. It was their fourth-straight loss at home overall.

Carl Gunnarsson’s wrister from the point in the third was the only goal of the game.

Carter Hutton stopped 27 shots for his third shutout, even though the Sabres seemingly had him beat twice in the final minute.

There weren’t many memorable moments from the first two periods. The biggest excitement came early in the second when Hutton had to play without his goalie stick for about 45 seconds.

Three minutes into the third, Robin Lehner made the save of the game (up to that point.)

Brayden Schenn picked off Evander Kanes’s weak clearing attempt and came in all alone on the Sabres netminder, but Lehner didn’t bite on any of Schenn’s dekes. He made a pad save to keep the game scoreless.

As the game played out, though, the crossbars may have been the deciding factors in the contest.

The Blues took the lead with 5:31 left in the final frame. Paul Stastny cleanly won a draw against Ryan O’Reilly; the puck rolled slowly back to the point as both Gunderrsson and Jordon Nolan raced towards it. Nolan was cut off by Alex Steen, barely allowing Gunnersson to one-time a shot off the crossbar and past Lehner.

The Blues had an 11-2 lead in shots on goal through the third period until the Sabres began to control the flow of the game. Gunnarsson took a penalty with 2:26 left in regulation to put Buffalo on the power play. With about a minute and a half left, Lehner was pulled for the extra attacker.

Hutton preserved the lead with a skate save on Sam Reinhart with 34 seconds left after Reinhart took a cross-ice feed on the far side from Kane.

Following an icing call against the Blues with 7.9 seconds left, The Sabres again came within an inch of tying it when Rasmus Ristolainen’s point shot went off a skate and hit the crossbar with two seconds left.

Some telling numbers: St. Louis outshot Buffalo 33-27. The Sabres were 0-4 on the power play while the Blues were 0-1,

St. Louis blocked 16 shots to the Sabres 12; Buffalo had 13 giveaways compared to five for St. Louis

Buffalo’s record fell to 14-29-9, still last in the Eastern Conference. Their 37 points are now six behind Ottawa. St. Louis improved to 32-19-3. They’re in third in the Central, four points behind division-leading Winnipeg.

St. Louis swept the two-game season series from Buffalo.

Announced attendance was 18,777. The Sabres next game is Tuesday at home vs. Anaheim.

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