Share this article

print logo

Blues beat Sabres in OT Biron rewarded with another start Guerin scores in extra session after St. Louis slows down Buffalo

ST. LOUIS -- Old friend Jay McKee had a plan for the best way to handle the Buffalo Sabres. As a defensive defenseman who spent 11 years with the Sabres, he knew their whipsaw offense would give his beleaguered St. Louis Blues all they could handle.

Before McKee took several of his former teammates out to dinner Friday night, he said he hoped he could get them staggering drunk, something that shouldn't seem too difficult in the town where August Busch became famous.

"I tried to get the guys a little tipsy, but they were too smart for that," McKee said.

He probably was ready to buy Bill Guerin a drink after Saturday night's game.

Guerin tied the score in the third period and netted the winner 1:35 into sudden death to beat the Sabres, 3-2, in Scottrade Center.

The Blues, owners of the Western Conference's worst record but feeling fine behind rare back-to-back victories, were able to slow down the Sabres enough to keep up with them.

"For them to come out with a point and us to get two, it feels great," McKee said. "I have so many friends over there, you can't have the ties like I do and loved to have played there so long not to still root for them."

Guerin lifted a shot over Martin Biron to finish off a pass from Doug Weight and give the Blues their first three-game win streak of the season. The Sabres haven't beaten the Blues in nine tries.

"I knew Weight was looking to make the pass," Biron said. "It came across and I tried to come over as fast as I could to smother the bottom of the net. [Guerin] just found a spot."

St. Louis scored first, but one-time Blue Jochen Hecht and Jason Pominville answered in the second period, which was sobering for the Blues. They had been 1-16 when trailing after 40 minutes.

Then Guerin delighted the announced crowd of 12,513 when he tied the game 9:28 into the third period, eventually taking the Sabres into overtime for the 13th time.

Sabres coach Lindy Ruff gave Biron another start to reward him for playing well in Thursday night's 7-2 victory over the Nashville Predators. The last time Biron started two games in a row with Ryan Miller healthy was April.

Biron made 29 saves and had a full defensive lineup in front of him. Buffalo's top six defensemen were on the ice for the first time in 25 games. Henrik Tallinder returned from his broken left forearm. Jaroslav Spacek and Teppo Numminen also skated despite getting a little banged up in Nashville.

St. Louis goalie Manny Legace stopped 21 shots.

"We knew that with the way they play, it was going to be a fairly low-chance affair and probably low scoring," Ruff said. "We had our chances in the third and didn't put them away."

St. Louis opened the scoring 5:31 into the game when Ryan Johnson redirected Christian Backman's wrister from the high slot.

At 1:20 of the second period, Hecht leveled the score against the team that drafted him in 1995. Co-captain Daniel Briere set him up for his ninth goal with a pass across the slot.

Pominville gave Buffalo a 2-1 lead with 3:22 to go in the second period. Briere passed from the top of the left circle to Pominville at the top of the crease. Legace made a paddle save on the first try, but Pominville roofed his own rebound for his 16th goal and third in two games.

Hecht thought he had scored again -- and referee Brad Meier agreed with him at first -- when a puck caromed off the winger's skate 90 seconds into the third period. But after a long review, it was wiped out.

"It could have put the game away for us, but it gave them life," Biron said.

Guerin tied the score at 2 just as Numminen was leaving the penalty box for interference. Jay McClement took a snap shot from the left faceoff dot, and Guerin tipped it past Biron 9:28 into the third for his team-high 14th goal.

e-mail: tgraham@buffnews.com

There are no comments - be the first to comment