ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jordan Kyrou had two goals and an assist, Colton Parayko scored the game-winner and the St. Louis Blues beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-3 Friday night.
Jake Walman and Brayden Schenn also scored, and Ville Husso had 35 saves for St. Louis to improve to 10-1-1 since the start of 2022 — and 9-1-0 at home.
“I mean, it was just a back and forth game,” Parayko said. “It’s nice to get that goal kind of later on in the game, Just trying to get as many points in the bag as possible here. Down the stretch we’re trying to put together a lot as a team. And then obviously just want to continue to get wins.”
Kyle Okposo, Dylan Cozens and Tage Thompson scored for Buffalo, which has lost five straight while getting outscored 24-10.
Parayko gave the Blues the lead for good at 4-3 on a wrist shot with 6:03 left in the third period.
“He went at people hard. He was assertive all night, got rewarded with a goal,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “That’s something that he’s got to take upon himself on a game day basis. People do not like contact. Most guys don’t like getting hit and he’s got a big body, gets in the way. It’s hard to play against him as it is.”
Schenn added an empty-net goal with 33 seconds to go.
Thompson’s power-play goal tied the score 3-3 with 7:26 remaining in the third with his 21st goal of the season. Thompson was drafted in the first round by the Blues and played his rookie season in St. Louis before he was traded to Buffalo in 2018 for Ryan O’Reilly.
“It’s always nice to score,” Thompson said. “But I think the main thing is winning. I really wanted to win this one and everyone in the room did too, and it stings a little bit more, especially when you play well like that. And that’s a tough one as well. ”
Cozens gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead 1:25 into the game. A turnover by Robert Thomas allowed Buffalo to keep the puck in its zone. Husso didn’t control a rebound of a shot by Rasmus Asplund and Cozens’ shot trickled through Husso.
The Blues responded with two goals by Kyrou. St. Louis tied it on a power-play goal as David Perron passed to Kyrou in the left circle and he one-timed the puck by goalie Dustin Tokarski at 7:06. Buffalo had successfully killed off its previous 12 penalties and had not allowed a power-play goal in any of its previous six contests.
Parked in the slot, Kyrou scored on a deft redirection of a shot by Justin Faulk, who also had an assist on the first goal, with 5:37 left in the first. It was his 20th of the season. Kyrou has 22 points his past 20 games with 11 goals and 11 assists.
“It’s definitely pretty cool,” Kryou said about scoring 20 goals. “First time doing it, so yeah, it’s a cool thing: I think I had to just refocus on what makes my game go, and I thought I did that tonight. And that’s just like move my feet, and just competing harder.”
The Sabres tied the game 2-2 when Okposo tipped a shot by Rasmus Dahlin at 3:47 of the second.
Buffalo coach Don Granato liked what he saw from his team against the Blues.
“They have a very good, smart, competitive, physically, big strong hockey team with lots of skill mixed in,” Granato said. “We were able to, you know, most of the time five on five, we established the pace and that was nice. That was real nice and we obviously produced some frustration in them.”
Berube noted the Blues had low energy for the game. However, the result is what counted.
“They found a way to fight through it and win a hockey game, that’s all that matters,” Berube said.
The Blues got it back when Walman scored on a rebound with 35 seconds remaining in the period. Brandon Saad carried the puck in but goalie Dustin Tokarski, who had 18 saves overall, made a dazzling stop but Walman pounced on the loose puck for the goal.
NEW BLUES FAMILY MEMBER
Schenn missed practice Thursday due to the birth of his son, Huxley Michael Schenn, who arrived Wednesday.
The Blues have won nine in a row at home against the Sabres, outscoring them 34-14 in that stretch. … St. Louis has scored four or more goals in six of its last seven home games. The Blues are 14-3-0 this season when scoring four or more at home. … Buffalo RW Victor Olofsson (illness) returned to play Friday. He missed Wednesday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens due to a non-COVID-19 illness. … Blues D Scott Perunovich (upper body), who last played Jan. 15, remains at AHL Springfield on a conditioning assignment. He has been in three games, scoring one assist.
Sabres: LW Zemgus Girgensons (undisclosed) and RW Jack Quinn (lower body) remain out.
Blues: C Oskar Sundqvist sustained a lower body injury in the first period. He did not return. “He’ll be evaluated tomorrow,” Berube said about Sundqvist. “We’ll know more then.” …. D Marco Scandella (lower body) skated Friday in the optional morning skate and is close to returning to play.
Buffalo: At Dallas on Sunday afternoon.
St. Louis: At Chicago on Sunday afternoon.
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