(WGR 550) – The Buffalo Sabres got their four-game road trip off to a good start on Monday with a win over the Dallas Stars in overtime.
The Sabres are 10-2-1 in their last 13 road games, and the St. Louis Blues are the next opponent on Tuesday.
With back-to-back games, Sabres head coach Don Granato didn’t hold a morning skate, but I would anticipate Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen in goal. The young goalie is 12-5-1 this season with a 3.31 goals-against average and an .899 save percentage.
Luukkonen has won three of his last four starts, giving up 11 goals.
Buffalo is on a three-game winning streak, and is on a pace to get 91 points. Last year, the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference was occupied by the Washington Capitals with 100 points.
Tage Thompson is back to play the team that drafted him back in 2016. Thompson has a four-game point streak with one goal and four assists for five points, but the All-Star forward only has that one goal in his last nine games.
Victor Olofsson is blazing hot with goals in four-straight games, and six out of seven. The winger has nine goals in 10 games.
The power play is still struggling for the Sabres, going just 3-for-27 in the last nine games. The penalty kill had gone four-straight games without giving up a goal until Jamie Benn scored one Monday.
Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly has been out injured for 10 games. Many reports say St. Louis was trying to trade O’Reilly before he got hurt. He hasn’t even been close to himself this season with 10 goals and six assists for 16 points in 37 games. He’s also a minus-28.
Pavel Buchnevich went on Injured Reserve on Tuesday, while Vladimir Tarasenko and Torey Krug came off I.R. and will play against the Sabres.
St. Louis is likely to have Jordan Binnington in net.
The Blues are 20th in the NHL with a points percentage of .521. They are five points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Join me, Brian Koziol and Pat Malacaro for a special roundtable at 7 p.m. EST when we take a look at the first part of the season.