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It's been more than 13 years since Buffalo has posted a win at home over St. Louis. The Sabres may be catching the Blues at the right time in order to end that slide.
Looking to snap an eight-game winless streak at HSBC Arena against St. Louis, the Sabres on Wednesday night will meet the Blues, who are seeking their first victory in nearly three weeks.
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The Sabres last beat the Blues at the old Memorial Auditorium, 5-2 on Oct. 22, 1995 behind two goals from Jason Dawe and 29 saves from Dominik Hasek. Since then, Buffalo has gone 0-6-0 with two ties and has been outscored 28-15.
That's tied for the second-longest active home winless streak by one team. The Canucks are 0-8-4 with a tie in their last 13 in Vancouver against Philadelphia dating back to Dec. 31, 1989.
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Andy Murray's club, though, enters this game on an 0-4-1 skid, including a 5-3 loss to Los Angeles on Saturday. Manny Legace, making his first start since Oct. 24 due to an injured hip, allowed three power-play goals.
"We were trying, we didn't quit," Murray said. "We were battling until the end, and I think we made them nervous."
The Blues' penalty-killing unit isn't making anyone too nervous lately. St. Louis has given up at least one man-advantage goal in each game during their skid. with opponents converting seven of 27 chances (25.9 percent).
St. Louis (5-7-1), which hasn't won since beating Florida 4-0 on Oct. 25, could have one of its top scorers back in the lineup. Paul Kariya, who's missed the last two games, may return to the ice after an MRI taken on an undisclosed lower-body injury didn't reveal any further damage.
Kariya leads the Blues with 13 assists and is one point behind Andy McDonald for the team lead. McDonald has one goal in each of his last three games after scoring only one in his first 10.
Two of the goals were on long shots that eluded Miller, drawing the ire of Sabres coach Lindy Ruff.
"If you're going to be there, you've got to be there," Ruff said.
Miller is 7-2-2 with a 2.04 goals-against average and two shutouts this season, but has lost his only career start against the Blues. He made 28 saves on Nov. 28 in a 4-3 home defeat.
Backup Patrick Lalime could get the start against his former team in this contest. Lalime had the worst season of his career in 2005-06 with St. Louis, going 4-18-8 with a 3.64 GAA.
In four starts with Chicago versus the Blues after that, Lalime went 2-2-0 with a 2.55 GAA.
After a fast start, Buffalo's Thomas Vanek has cooled off. He scored seven goals in his first five games, but has only five in his last nine yet still leads the NHL with 12.
Vanek has no points in two career games against St. Louis.
|Nov 12 '08||STL 3 at BUF 4||H. Tallinder|