ST. LOUIS -- We're here under the shadow of the Gateway Arch for Thursday's opener of the Sabres' two-game Midwest sojourn and here's an early look at what you might expect today and tonight in Scottrade Center:
Giving Sabres the Blues: St. Louis has won the last six meetings with Buffalo -- outscoring the Sabres, 22-5, in those games -- and its dominance over Buffalo is actually worse than that. Since 1999, the Blues have won 16 of 18 against the Sabres and the aggregate goal count is 64-29. The Sabres lost here last year, 6-1, thanks mostly to a Jori Lehtera hat trick, and have not won here since Dec. 27, 2009.
Current streaks: After an 11-3-1 start, the Blues have lost three of four. They're coming off Tuesday's 3-1 loss in Columbus that saw them get outshot, 38-20. It was their third game in four nights and their fourth game in six nights and their play reflected it. After winning three straight for the first time in nearly 11 months, the Sabres are 0-1-1 in their last two and have scored just one goal in each game. Buffalo has only three even-strength goals in its last three games.
On the Sabres beat: In today's editions of The News, John Vogl talks about the growth of the young Buffalo defense now that Zach Bogoisan is back in the lineup.
Home on the road: The Sabres have won three straight away from First Niagara Center and a win would give them their first four-game road streak since their first four games of the 2011-12 season.
Key injuries to watch: It looks like Evander Kane is going to get the go-ahead from the Sabres to return after missing 10 games with his knee injury. Lehtera's status is uncertain after he took a stick in the throat from Brandon Saad and was briefly hospitalized Tuesday. Top rookie defenseman Colton Parayko missed Tuesday’s game with a lower-body injury and his status will be decided today as well.
Time Check: We're in the Central Time Zone, so faceoff on MSG tonight is in the 8:05 range. The pregame skates thus go at 11:30 a.m. Eastern (Blues) and 12:30 p.m. Eastern (Sabres), necessitating a reminder that your usual "morning" info is actually going to come well into the afternoon today.