Bill Guerin scored his second goal of the game in overtime to lift the Blues to a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night. It was their season-high third consecutive victory and their first such streak since Feb. 2-8.
“It’s a good feeling, I’ll tell you that,” Guerin said. “It’s something we’re starting to get used to around here. We’re working hard everyday, buying into the system. We’ve been rewarded lately and we just want to continue to do that.”
Guerin, who tied the game with a goal in the third, took a feed from Doug Weight near the Sabres’ net and knocked in his team-leading 15th goal of the season 1:35 into overtime. Weight took the puck near the blue line and skated deep into the Sabres’ zone before passing across the ice for his 18th assist of the year.
The victory gave the Blues a 2-16 record this season in games they trailed following the second period. The Sabres, conversely, are now 17-2-1 when holding the lead heading into the third.
Both Guerin and Blues goalie Manny Legace, who made 21 stops, say the difference between St. Louis under Murray – who replaced the fired Mike Kitchen on Dec. 11 – is a belief in his system.
“The boys have bought into it and are playing their roles, taking pride in what they do,” Legace said. “That’s the big difference and it’s very nice to watch.”
The Sabres seemed to take a 3-1 lead on Jochen Hecht’s second goal of the game early in the third period. However, the referees reviewed the play and waived off the goal, claiming Hecht kicked the puck into the net.
“I knew it hit my foot, but I didn’t think I made a good connection,” Hecht said. “I opened up my foot, it got hit and went in the net. I thought it was a good goal.”
Guerin tied the game at two midway through the third period with his team-leading 14th goal, after Jay McClement’s blast hit his leg and went past Buffalo goalie Martin Biron seconds after the Sabres killed off a power-play.
Teppo Numminen left the penalty box following his two-minute minor for interference, but barely got back on the ice before Guerin scored.
Maxim Afinogenov had two assists in the second period to help the Sabres take a 2-1 lead. He assisted Hecht on his 100th career goal to tie the score at one early in the period and Jason Pominville scored after he knocked the puck away from defenceman Barret Jackman to Afinogenov deep in the Blues zone. Afinogenov immediately gave it back to Pominville who put it past Legace to give the Sabres the one-goal advantage.
Ryan Johnson scored late in the first to give the Blues a 1-0 lead, marking the seventh-consecutive game in which St. Louis has scored first.
Notes: Guerin two goals gave him 24 points this season, tying him for the team-lead with Keith Tkachuk. … St. Louis has not won three-consecutive games in regulation since October of the 2003-04 season. … This was the only meeting of the teams this season. … The Blues and Sabres last met March 7, 2004, in Buffalo with St. Louis winning 5-1, giving it eight consecutive victories over Buffalo. … The Blues have allowed nine goals during regulation in the past five games.