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Troy Brouwer, Robby Fabbri score in 3rd period as Blues come back to beat Sabres 2-1


BUFFALO, New York — On a night of odd bounces and missed chances, Robby Fabbri fittingly didn't see his game-winner cross the goal line.

Fabbri's third-period shot changed direction three times before slipping past Buffalo Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark in the St. Louis Blues' 2-1 win on Monday.

"I went to go put it in and it went off my foot and went up in the air and it fell in between my feet again and I don't know what happened after that," Fabbri said.

It was that kind of night for St. Louis, which got 24 saves from Jake Allen and some good fortune when several Sabres chances hit the post or crossbar.

"I like to think I give them nothing to shoot at but that," Allen said. "When they hit it, it doesn't go in. That's all that matters."

The Sabres led 1-0 after two periods on David Legwand's second-period goal, but the Blues tied it on Troy Brouwer's goal before Fabbri put them ahead with 6:34 to play.

And, as St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock has come to expect, Allen held up his end of the deal.

"Our goalie was our best player again," Hitchcock said. "It's beginning to be like a broken record, but you're grateful for it."

Fabbri was credited with the go-ahead goal when Josh Gorges inadvertently put a rebound into his own net, giving the Blues their second win against Buffalo in the last week.

"It hit me in front," Gorges said. "I went to clear the puck. I don't know what it went off of."

Ullmark made 24 saves for Buffalo, which lost its fifth straight.

Buffalo opened the scoring when Legwand took advantage of Nicolas Deslauriers' hard forecheck, snaring a loose puck from behind the net and sliding it off Allen's pad and across the goal line at 16:45 of the second period.

Buffalo missed two good chances to double its lead early in the third, including when Brian Gionta put an in-close shot off the crossbar.

Brouwer then found the rebound of Kevin Shattenkirk's point shot and backhanded it past a screened Ullmark at 5:07.

PHOTO: St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen (34) watches the shot by Buffalo Sabres left winger Johan Larsson (22), of Sweden, hit the goal post during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Monday Nov. 23, 2015 in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)
St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen (34) watches the shot by Buffalo Sabres left winger Johan Larsson (22), of Sweden, hit the goal post during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Monday Nov. 23, 2015 in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)

"We had a couple good shifts before that, starting to get some momentum, create some opportunities," Brouwer said. "We were able to get one, and the second one was similar fashion."

St. Louis went ahead when Gorges unwittingly directed the puck into Buffalo's net with his left skate. Sabres coach Dan Bylsma challenged the call for offside, but the goal stood and was credited to Fabbri at 13:26.

"We had so many chances there that we've got to put them away early when we have them," Buffalo center Ryan O'Reilly said. "It's not good enough. It's embarrassing."

The Sabres had the Blues frustrated with physical play. Robert Bertuzzo put a high hit on Tyler Ennis early in the game, spurring Marcus Foligno into a fight with the Blues' defenseman.

"That's the hardest for two periods we've got checked all year," Hitchcock said. "They were in our face, no space, no room."

Jack Eichel whiffed on a prime chance moments later, as Sam Reinhart stickhandled well to gain a 2-on-1 before slipping a backhand pass across the slot.

Carl Gunnarson headed to the box soon after for a holding penalty following another questionable hit on Ennis, who received a major penalty last week in St. Louis for boarding Alex Pietrangelo.

But Buffalo gave up the puck at its blue line, offering former captain Steve Ott a breakaway. Ullmark sprawled to make a glove save and keep the game scoreless.

Johan Larsson crashed the net and hit the post with an in-tight shot.

Eichel found Kane at the far post early in the second period, but the left wing sliced his lunging one-timer wide. On the next shift, Deslauriers' swing at a rebound goal went harmlessly over the puck.

The Blues had trouble manufacturing chances in the second period and went 13:16 without a shot on goal.

A prone Ullmark made a terrific save late in the third, reaching across to deny Brouwer with the paddle of his stick.

"I thought the way our goaltender was playing, one was going to be enough to win that game," Bylsma said.

The Sabres pulled Ullmark with just more than a minute to play, and Gunnarson took a penalty for closing his hand on the puck. Despite the 6-on-4 advantage, Buffalo failed to get a shot on Allen.

NOTES: Blues C Paul Stastny returned after missing 16 games with a broken foot. ... The Sabres scratched defenseman Mark Pysyk. ... It was the first of three home games in five nights for Buffalo.

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PHOTO: Buffalo Sabres goaltender Linus Ullmark (35), of Sweden, watches St. Louis Blues center David Backes (42) control the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Monday Nov. 23, 2015 in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)
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