Jake Neighbours scores twice, Blues defeat Sabres

Jake Neighbours scored twice to lead the visiting St. Louis Blues past the Buffalo Sabres 3-1 on Saturday.

Jordan Kyrou also scored and Joel Hofer made 33 saves for the Blues, who won for the sixth time in their last seven games to remain in the race for a Western Conference playoff berth.

The Blues built a 24-14 advantage in hits, blocked 16 shots and earned six takeaways.

Kyle Okposo scored and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 23 saves for the Sabres, who lost for the fourth time in their last six games to fall further off the Eastern Conference playoff pace.

St. Louis struck first by scoring a power-play goal with 7:07 left in the first period. Robert Thomas attempted to make a seam pass in tight, but the puck caromed from Pavel Buchnevich to Neighbours outside the left post.

Neighbours backhanded the puck into the open side of the net.

The Sabres tied the game 1-1 just 51 seconds into the second period when Tage Thompson cut toward the back of the net from the right wing and centered the puck to Okposo.

Blues defenseman Matt Kessel swiped the puck away from Okposo, but it went into his own net.

St. Louis regained the lead 2-1 less than 4 minutes later when Colton Parayko fired a shot off the end boards and Kyrou converted the long carom from the near slot.

Midway through the third period, Kyrou nearly scored his second goal, but his shot rang high off the left post. Blues forward Kevin Hayes fired a shot off the right post with 4:17 left as the game remained tight.

Neighbours iced the game with 1:57 left. Brayden Schenn fired a shot off the rush from the left wing and Neighbours burst in from the right wing to bury the weak-side rebound for his 17th goal this season.