Blues Snap Losing Streak, Jack Eichel Sets Career High, Top Highlights

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2020

St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, third from left, celebrates scoring a goal with, from left, left wing David Perron, left wing Zach Sanford and defenseman Jay Bouwmeester in the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in Denver. Colorado won 5-3. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The St. Louis Blues became the first team in the Western Conference to hit the 70-point mark Tuesday by ending a two-game losing streak. 

The Stanley Cup champion took down the Calgary Flames in a shootout to conclude a small slate of games, as some franchises are still off due to the extended All-Star break. 

In Tuesday's other NHL contest, Buffalo Sabres forward Jack Eichel set a career high in goals in a loss to the Ottawa Senators. 

Although the achievement was nice for the player, Buffalo failed to gain ground in the wild-card race, as it let up three third-period tallies to the Senators. 

             

Tuesday NHL Scores

Ottawa 5, Buffalo 2

St. Louis 5, Calgary 4 (Final/Shootout)

           

Ryan O'Reilly Wins Shootout For Blues (1:36)

         

Jack Eichel Reaches New Career Best In Goals (4:37)

         

Zach Sanford's Game-Tying Goal (6:09)

        

Sean Monahan's 400th-Career Point (1:31)

       

Tyler Ennis' Slick Power-Play Assist (6:39)

         

Senators Finish Off Nice Passing Move (1:39)

          

Blues Break Losing Streak, Hit 70 Points

St. Louis had the weird scheduling quirk of playing back-to-back games right after Saturday's All-Star Game. 

On Monday, the Blues missed their chance to hit the 70-point mark in a loss to the Vancouver Canucks. 

They made up for that defeat Tuesday by squeezing out a 5-4 shootout win over the Flames, which extended their lead atop the Central Division to eight points and ended a two-game losing run. 

Both David Perron and Alex Pietrangelo noted after the game that it was not the team's best performance, but it found a way to earn the victory.

“I’m happy we found a way to win the game. It doesn’t matter (how)," Perron told reporters after the game.

“I don’t think we played defensively the way we wanted, but I say it about our group all the time, we find a way to win," Pietrangelo added.  

Perron recorded one of the two assists on Zach Sanford's game-tying goal in the third period, which was an answer to a pair of tallies from Calgary in the second stanza. 

The Blues have two games left on their current road trip—both against teams in playoff contention—before they return to Enterprise Center for a three-game run during the first full week of February. 

Due to the early start out of the week-long layoff, St. Louis has played two more contests than the second-place Colorado Avalanche and third-place Dallas Stars. 

As long as the team holds on to first place, it should lock up home-ice advantage since the Canucks lead the Pacific Division with 10 fewer points. 

                         

Jack Eichel Scores 29th Goal, Sets Career High

Eichel entered the 2019-20 campaign with a career high of 28 goals from last season. In 28 fewer games, the 23-year-old has eclipsed that total.

His 29th tally of the year occurred in the second period and served as a game-tying goal for the Sabres, who went down by two in the first period. 

Unfortunately for the home side, it was unable to keep the Ottawa offense at bay in the final 20 minutes. 

The loss to a team beneath it in the standings was Buffalo's biggest takeaway from Tuesday rather than Eichel's new personal best, as he told NHL.com's Heather Engel

"We can't play like that at home, a team coming off a back-to-back. We just had a break," he said. "It's not good enough. I mean, if you want to make the playoffs, that's not a playoff-caliber effort by us. You know that, I know that, everyone in the room knows that." 

The defeat kept the Sabres eight points back of their closest playoff rival and 10 points behind second place in the Eastern Conference wild-card race. 

Buffalo will have a chance to gain ground over the next few weeks on home ice, as it plays seven of its next eight games at KeyBank Center. Two of those contests are against the wild-card leader Columbus Blue Jackets. 

                       

Wednesday NHL Schedule

Toronto at Dallas (7:30 p.m. ET) 

Nashville at Washington (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN) 

Arizona at Anaheim (10 p.m. ET) 

Tampa Bay at Los Angeles (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN) 

Calgary at Edmonton (10 p.m. ET) 

Vancouver at San Jose (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

        

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from NHL.com.

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