The St. Louis Blues used a strong third period against the host Buffalo Sabres on Monday night to rebound from their recent struggles.
“For the first two periods, we were looking for something easier and it wasn't there,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock told reporters. “They weren’t going to go away. They’ve got great structure, they’ve got speed, they’ve got tenacity, they’ve got size, and they are starting to mature. So you’re going to have to pay a price to beat them. They are not going to give anything easy. We had to dig in a lot deeper than we were going and we did in the third period.”
The Blues (14-6-2, 30 points) were coming off a 4-3 overtime loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night, which was their fourth loss in six games.
Goalie Jake Allen helped snap that skid with 24 saves.
“Our goalie was our best player again,” Hitchcock said. “It’s beginning to be like a broken record, but you’re grateful for it.”
The Sabres (8-11-2, 18 points) beat Allen just once and it was David Legwand’s first goal of the season late in the second period that gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead.
The Blues tied the score on Brouwer’s fifth goal of the season, 5:07 into the third period, assisted by Kevin Shattenkirk and David Backes. Brouwer tipped a shot from Shattenkirk and then backhanded the rebound past goalie Linus Ullmark.
Fabbri, the Blues’ 19-year-old rookie forward, netted the game-winner with 6:34 remaining for his third of the season. But he didn’t see it.
Jay Bouwmeester put the puck on net from the blue. The shot appeared to be going wide of the net, but hit Sabres defensemen Josh Gorges. Then when he tried to clear it then bounced off of Fabbri, off of Gorges again and then past Ullmark.
“I’ll take it any way it comes. I know a lot of the guys feel that way,” Fabbri said. “I was lucky to get that bounce, and we’ve just got to keep it going.
“I didn’t know where the puck was and I was just spinning around and I looked and saw it was in the net and I put my hands up. I didn’t know who put it in or if it was me or not. It was something crazy like that.”
The Blues conclude their brief, two-game road trip on Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins (12-8-0, 24 points).