Sabres' Beaulieu makes his return

February 3, 2018
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Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - Nate Beaulieu will return to the Sabres lineup after missing four games with a concussion. He had just missed two games before that and then played 1:15 before he got into a fight and left the game.

Beaulieu has been hurt four different times and has missed 18 games due to injury. He said this has been the worst season he has ever had to endure in the National Hockey League, “Yes, by far. It’s been really rough, I’ve been into some unfamiliar waters and it’s been extremely difficult, but I’m trying to find some positives, we’ve got 30 games left and my goal is to play the next 30 solid.”

Beaulieu’s play has been very inconsistent and he says you can’t get in a rhythm when you’re in and out of the lineup, “That’s extremely tough, that’s the hardest part, you don’t solve all problems in one game and now hopefully, I’ll get 10 good ones on a row and then you start building confidence and it comes from there.”

In St. Louis, the Sabres lost to the Blues in overtime. Evan Rodrigues scored his only two goals this season in that game with the goal to tie the game coming with just 1:27 left in regulation.

Rodrigues was a healthy scratch in the last game, but he’ll go back in in place of the suspended Johan Larsson.

Rodrigues had a great training camp until he broke his hand in a preseason game in Toronto. When he came up from Rochester in December, he played very well showing a lot of speed. His game has dropped drastically and he could probably use some time back with the Amerks to get his confidence back. Rodrigues hasn’t scored in 19 games.

Joining Larsson on the scratched list will be Justin Falk, Josh Gorges and Nick Baptiste.

The Sabres have lost six of their last eight here in Buffalo including four in a row.

Robin Lehner will be back in net. He has only allowed two goals in his last three starts. That means he’s stopped 88 of 90 shots.

Lehner is 11-19-6 with a 2.85 goals against and .912 save percentage.

Jack Eichel has no points in his last three games, but on the other side of that coin, Sam Reinhart has five points in four games.

Ryan O’Reilly has five points in his last five games.

Buffalo has a power play goal in four straight games and six out of seven.

The Sabres do not win very often against the Blues. Buffalo is 1-7-2 in its last 10 games against them. Here in Buffalo it’s 2-8-0.

St. Louis is 10-2-0 in its last 12 games and 20-3-2 in its last 25 against Buffalo.

The Blues have won five of seven games and are in third place in the Central Division, two in back of Nashville and four behind Winnipeg. The Blues lead Dallas by three, Minnesota by four and Colorado by five.

Carter Hutton gets the call in net. Hutton has played 12 of the last 14 games for the Blues. Overall he’s 13-4-1 with a sparkling 1.70 goals against and .945 save percentage.

Both Brayden Schenn and Vladimir Tarasenko have 21 goals in 53 games for the Blues. Schenn has seven points in his last six games.

Alex Steen has been red hot with 14 points in 16 games.

Join Brian Koziol for the pregame starting at 6:00 when he’ll be joined by Phil Housley, Johan Larsson, Jason Pominville and Nate Beaulieu.