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Brad Boyes' late goal gives St. Louis Blues 4-3 win over Buffalo Sabres

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Brad Boyes' perseverance on his goal mirrored his team's collective effort.

Boyes broke a tie with 58 seconds left, and Manny Legace made 20 saves in the streaking St. Louis Blues' 4-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night.

St. Louis came back after falling behind by a pair of goals, and won it on Boyes' magnificent effort that gave the Blues their third straight win and seventh in the last eight games

Going deep into the Buffalo zone on the left wing, Boyes' faked out goalie Ryan Miller before lifting the puck toward a gaping net. The shot, though, was knocked out of the air by Daniel Paille, and bounced a couple of times in the crease. Boyes then rounded the net and swatted the puck in from the other side for his 14th goal and fourth winner.

"I heard no whistle, so I kept playing, and a half-second later the puck popped out," Boyes said. "I made sure that one really went in."

Mike Johnson and Paul Kariya each had a goal and assist, Martin Rucinsky also scored, and Boyes added an assist for St. Louis, which won for the second time in eight games when trailing after two periods.

"We thought we were deserving of a win tonight," Blues coach Andy Murray said. "We thought we were good all game even though we were trailing. We liked how we were playing."

The Sabres were fortunate to be up after two periods. Miller kept them ahead with several big stops over the first 40 minutes and finished with 28 saves.

"We didn't look like ourselves, but St. Louis is a tough team to play against," he said. "We had to be better, and we should have known they were going to come hard."

Jason Pominville, Ales Kotalik and Andrej Sekera scored for Buffalo. The loss snapped the Sabres' winning streak at five.

"We turned the puck over way too many times," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "We were very careless with the puck. We didn't take care of it and it hurt us."

The Sabres are winless in their last 11 games against St. Louis - including eight loses in regulation - and haven't beaten the Blues at home in more than 12 years.

"We dominated in the second and third," said Legace, who was making his third start in four games. "Our guys were phenomenal. If not for Miller it would have been over in the second."

The Sabres scored first for the sixth straight game when Pominville redirected Clark MacArthur's pass from the high slot with just 1:21 remaining in the first period for his seventh of the season. It was Pominville's second goal in two games after he was held goal-less for 13 straight games.

Buffalo made it 2-0 at 12:28 of the second period on Kotalik's power-play goal. Standing in the bottom of the left circle, Kotalik one-timed Jaroslav Spacek's cross-ice pass past Legace for his fifth of the season.

St. Louis cut the deficit in half when Rucinsky scored his third with just under five minutes left in the second. From in tight, Rucinsky tapped in Keith Tkachuk's pass.

Kariya tied it 3:45 into the third when he converted a rebound after Miller stopped Tkachuk's shot on a 2-on-1. Johnson then gave the Blues their first lead when he scored his first 2:34 later.

Sekera tied it with his first career goal with just under nine minutes left in the third, beating Legace with a slap shot from the left point.

The game also marked the return of former Sabres defenceman Jay McKee. McKee played in Buffalo for nine years before signing with the Blues as a free agent following the 2005-06 season.

Notes: Buffalo's last win at home against St. Louis was a 5-2 victory in October 1995. ... Sabres D Henrik Tallinder missed his second game after straining a shoulder against Montreal on Saturday. He's expected to miss at least a week ... Buffalo RW Drew Stafford returned after missing three games because of a shoulder injury. ... The Blues will play four of their next five on the road. ... All five of Kotalik's goals this season have come on the power play.


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