Skinner, Quinn each scores twice, Sabers end Blues win streak at seven

BUFFALO — Jeff Skinner and Jack Quinn each scored twice, and the Buffalo Sabers ended the St. Louis Blues’ seven-game winning streak with a 6-2 victory at KeyBank Center on Wednesday.

Skinner has four goals and seven points in his past two games.

“I think for me, when guys have success, it’s because the line is playing well or the team is playing well,” Skinner said. “I think the last two games we’ve played well as a team, and our line [with Tage Thompson and Alex Tuch] has been clicking pretty well. A couple of them have been on the power play, so when our power play’s clicking, when guys are playing well and guys are sort of feeding off each other, that kind of thing happens, and I think you just try and keep it going as a group.”

Video: STL@BUF: Skinner makes incredible move for PPG

Tuch had two assists, and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 34 saves for the Sabers (9-11-0), who have won their past two games after an eight-game losing streak.

“He’s progressed from last year to this year,” Buffalo coach Don Granato said of Luukkonen. “He looks like a different athlete. … Obviously, he’s gained the wisdom of experience playing more games and more minutes in Rochester [in the American Hockey League]. He’s used those as opportunities to be better each time he’s come back up here.”

Brayden Schenn and Pavel Buchnevich scored, etc Jordan Binnington made 26 saves for the Blues (10-9-0), who lost for the first time since Nov. 8.

“I think we didn’t play our game at all, what we’ve been doing in the past seven,” Schenn said. “We probably thought we would come here, and we were feeling it a little bit, and maybe thought the game was easier than it is. There’s no guarantee wins in this league, and we turned over the puck too much and fed into their offense and their highly skilled and dynamic young guys, and they took it to us tonight.”

Video: STL@BUF: Quinn fakes it and shoots to net goal

Skinner gave the Sabers a 1-0 lead 18 seconds into the first period. Tuch rimmed the puck around the end boards to Skinner on the left side and Skinner skated to the bottom of the left circle, where he lifted it top corner short side.

“I think ‘Tuchy’ did a good job getting it back behind the net,” Skinner said. “And then I come around and I think [Thompson] May be driving back door, so I just see a little bit of space there and just try to hit my spot.”

Buchnevich tied it 1-1 on the power play at 53 seconds of the second period. Jordan Kyrou‘s shot from the right circle hit Buchnevich in front before hitting the skate of Sabers defenseman Mattias Samuelsson and going into the net.

Dylan Cozens finished off a 3-on-1 rush to give Buffalo a 2-1 lead with a one-timer from the left circle at 2:53.

“We got squeezed off there and we’ve got to make a better play than that,” St. Louis coach Craig Berube said. “And then, you know, we got to reload harder. And we didn’t because of a turnover. And we couldn’t change on the play. We’ve got to read better. We made bad reads tonight.”

Video: STL@BUF: Cozens shoots a one-timer to score

Victor Olofsson scored on a one-timer from the right circle on the power play to push it to 3-1 at 5:57.

Skinner extended it to 4-1 with another power-play goal, going around the Blues defenseman Justin Faulk into the slot and scoring on the backhand at 13:01.

“When we see him with that emotional energy just bursting out, and I usually get a warning from the officials, and there’s a lot of barking going back to the opposing bench, you know he’s on his game,” Granato said. “That’s when he’s at his best. He’s fully engaged, and his competitiveness just rises in those situations.”

Video: STL@BUF: Olofsson widens lead with PPG in the 2nd

Buchnevich appeared to score again at 6:11 of the third period, but video review determined Vladimir Tarasenko preceded the puck into the offensive zone and the goal was overturned for offside.

Quinn used Ivan Barbashev as a screen, shooting it between the forward’s legs from the right circle to make it 5-1 at 12:44, then pushed the lead to 6-1 at 18:43 on a 2-on-1.

Schenn cut it to 6-2 from the side of the net at 18:56.

“We didn’t check hard enough,” Berube said. “They’ve got some real good skill over there and they exposed us with it tonight, like beating our guys one on one. It happened too many times tonight. Our penalty kill made two mistakes on it near our net, where we shouldn’t” t make mistakes on it when we know where we’re supposed to be, and that’s the game for me.”

NOTES: Sabers defenseman Jacob Bryson did not play in the third period. There was no update. … Sabers forward Rasmus Asplund was a late scratch and is day to day with an upper-body injury. … It was Luukkonen’s first win since Dec. 16, 2021. He made 19 saves in a 5-2 loss at the Toronto Maple Leafs in his season debut Saturday after being recalled from Rochester on Nov. 17. … Tuch extended his point streak to five games (three goals, seven assists). … Binnington had a personal six-game winning streak end. … Blues forward Brandon Saad missed the game with a non-COVID-related illness. Nathan Walker replaced him and played 10:57 in his first game since Nov. 7. … Tarasenko had a team-high five shots and three hits in 17:04 after missing two games with an illness. …St. Louis defenseman Torey Krug returned after missing one game with an upper-body injury. He was minus-3 with four shots in 20:40. … Kyrou has nine points (two goals, seven assists) in a six-game point streak. … The Sabers scored in the opening minute on consecutive days for the first time in their history. Defenseman Rasmus Dahlin scored 35 seconds into a 7-2 win at the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday.

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