NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at St. Louis
(Saturday, December 23rd)
Final Score: St. Louis 3, Buffalo 2 (OT)
St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Bill Guerin's second goal of the night, coming 1:35 into overtime, sent the St. Louis Blues to a 3-2 overtime win over the Buffalo Sabres at Scottrade Center.
Ryan Johnson picked up the other goal and Christian Backman registered two assists for St. Louis, which has won three straight following an 11-game losing streak. Manny Legace made 21 saves to earn the win.
Daniel Briere notched a pair of assists, while Jochen Hecht and Jason Pominville tallied goals for Buffalo, which has dropped three of its last four games. Martin Biron took the loss despite stopping 29 shots.
The game-winner came as Doug Weight blew past Sabres defenseman Toni Lydman at center ice and led a 2-on-1 with Guerin over the Buffalo blue line. Weight held until he reached the top of the left circle before dishing across to Guerin, whose tip-in beat Biron at the far post.
"It's a good feeling, I'll tell you that," said Guerin. It's something we're starting to get used to around here. It's still a work in progress, we're working hard every day, buying into the system. We've been rewarded lately. We just want to continue to do that."
It was a hard-luck loss for the struggling Sabres, who have not beaten the Blues since October 1, 1997, a span of 11 games.
Down by a goal heading into the third period, the Blues got a huge break early on which swung the momentum in their favor.
Hecht was denied a second goal of the game, when an official review determined he used a kicking motion with his right skate to redirect a puck into the net at the 1:30 mark of the third.
"I thought they were going to give it to me because I didn't think it was a kick," Hecht said. "I just opened up my foot and it (the puck) went the right way."
The ruling seemed to energize the home team, who would tie the game midway through the period when Guerin batted Jay McClement's left circle shot out of the air and through Biron, setting up the brief overtime session.
The Blues opened the scoring when Backman's rising wrister from between the circles hit Johnson and bounced in at 5:31 of the first.
Buffalo picked up the equalizer when defenseman Barret Jackman mistakenly drifted toward Briere as he led a 3-on-2 rush, leaving Hecht wide open to receive his pass and slide it through Legace's pads at 1:20 of the second.
Pominville followed to put the Sabres up 2-1 with 3:22 to go, shoveling home his own rebound from the edge of the crease. Briere hit Legace with the initial shot, and the young forward followed with two chances from in close.
"We knew that the way they (Blues) were playing that it was going to be a fairly low chance affair," Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff said. "We had our chances in the third and a couple of great chances at the end of the second, actually, to put it away. Legace made some key saves when the game was on the line."
Hecht's goal was the 100th of his career...St. Louis had surrendered a power- play goal in each of its last nine games, but held Buffalo scoreless in three chances...Guerin has three two-goal games this year...Buffalo returns to action Tuesday hosting Washington, while St. Louis travels to Nashville.
12/23 23:54:41 ET