(AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Chris Lee)
The St. Louis Blues have set a new franchise record for wins in a season with 52. Their 52nd win came against the Buffalo Sabres in a 2 to 1 victory on Thursday.
Ryan Miller was given a night off from defending the net, and did not face his former team. Instead, Brian Elliot got the start. Elliot stopped 25 of 26 shots to lead the Blues to victory.
The first period was played tight and stayed scoreless, but the Blues wanted to change things in the second period and take the lead. Maxim Lapierre score at 1:59 into the second period, when he received a perfect pass from Ryan Reaves in the slot, and ripped it high glove side. After that goal the Blues maintained momentum and dominated the Sabres. Even a casual hockey observer could pick out which one of these teams is getting ready to end their season. Brendan Morrow gave the Blues a 2 to 0 lead in the third, as he tipped in Vladimir Sabotka’s shot right passed Sabres’ goaltender Nathan Lieuwen.
The Sabres decided to save face in the last minute of the game, and took advantage of a power play opportunity. Cody Hodgson’s snap shot would deny the Blues the shutout in the final moments of the game. The Blues held on to the lead and gained two more crucial points in the race for the President’s Cup.
An exciting night to be a Blues fan, franchise record set, and they reclaim their spot atop the NHL. The Blues next game is Saturday against the Colorado Avalanche at 12:30 PM (CST).