Buffalo Sabres center Brian Flynn (65) chases a rebound as St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen (34) makes a save during the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Feb. 5, 2015, in Buffalo, N.Y. St. Louis won 3-0. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)
By JOHN WAWROW, AP Hockey Writer
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Jake Allen stopped 23 shots and the St. Louis Blues set a franchise record by extending their point streak to 13 games with a 3-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.
Dmitrij Jaskin scored on a wraparound late in the second period, and Vladimir Tarasenko tapped in David Backes’ pass in the third period for St. Louis, which improved its run to 12-0-1. Jaden Schwartz added an empty-netter.
The Blues (34-13-4) won their seventh straight to match a season-best, while beating the Sabres for the sixth straight time.
Buffalo (15-34-3) was shut out for the ninth time this season — one short of matching a franchise high. And the Sabres failed to build off the momentum of a 3-2 win at Montreal on Tuesday, when Buffalo snapped a team-worst 14-game skid.
Chris Stewart, acquired by Buffalo in a trade with St. Louis last season, had his one-timer from the slot turned aside by Allen 4 minutes into the third period. Three minutes later, Allen closed his legs to stop Brian Flynn’s initial shot on a short-handed breakaway. The goalie then held his ground to stop Flynn’s attempt to jam in the rebound.
It was Allen’s third shutout of the season and fourth of his career. He also added an assist on Schwartz’s empty-netter.
St. Louis’ 13-game point streak is the NHL’s longest since the Boston Bruins went 15-0-1 last March, according to STATS.
The only goal the Blues needed came off a faceoff to the left of the Sabres net.
Patrik Berglund won the draw, and teammate Ty Rattie pushed the puck back to the blue line where defenseman Chris Butler’s slap shot sailed wide of the left post. Jaskin pounced on the puck and immediately came out the other end to wrap it around the post and in off of goalie Jhonas Enroth’s skate with 1:56 left in the second period.
It was a tough goal to give up for Enroth, who had otherwise been the difference in keeping the game scoreless.
In the first period, Enroth kicked out his left pad to stop Paul Stastny, who was set up alone in the slot. Seven minutes into the second period, Enroth was quick with his glove to stop Backes’ hard, rising snap shot on a partial break up the right side.
Enroth had no chance on Tarasenko’s goal with 5:38 remaining. Backes drove up the left side and flipped a pass over a diving Sabres defender to Tarasenko, who popped it in the open side and score in his third straight game.
NOTES: Berglund returned after missing three games with a shoulder injury. … Blues linemates Alexander Steen (nine goals), Backes (eight) and T.J. Oshie (eight) entered having combined for 25 goals in their past 13. That was one more than the Sabres had scored in previous 15. … In opening a five-game homestand, the Sabres played their first game in Buffalo since a 4-3 loss to Philadelphia on Jan. 17.
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