ST. LOUIS (AP) — Robby Fabbri insists nothing has changed since being a healthy scratch for the first time in his career. His play says otherwise.
Jaden Schwartz and Kyle Brodziak scored early in the third period to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 4-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.
Fabbri and Scottie Upshall also scored and Jake Allen made 23 saves for the Blues, who snapped a three-game skid and beat the Sabres for the ninth straight time.
"Maybe just more attention to little details, but my game’s stayed the same," said Fabbri, who has scored three goals in two games since returning to the lineup. "Just trying to stick to that, stay positive and keep going here."
Sam Reinhart scored and Robin Lehner stopped 27 shots for the Sabres, who lost their fifth consecutive game.
The Blues are 4-0-2 in their last six at home and have allowed two goals or fewer in eight of their nine games at the Scottrade Center this season.
Schwartz broke a 1-1 tie 44 seconds into the third period on a rebound past a prone Lehner, who had made a sprawling save to stop Dmitrij Jaskin’s breakaway moments before.
"It was a great play by Jask," Schwartz said. "He had a lot of speed and made a good power move and just a fortunate bounce for me. I think anyone could have put that in."
Brodziak tipped in Ryan Reaves’ pass to give the Blues a 3-1 lead at 2:16 of the third. It was Brodziak’s first goal since April 4 against Arizona.
While Fabbri is known for his skill, the second-year player changed the game with his fists by getting into a second-period fight with Josh Gorges a couple of minutes after Gorges checked Alexander Steen hard into the boards. It was just the second fight of Fabbri’s NHL career, the other coming Feb. 14 against Tampa Bay.
"I don’t know what got into me, but I wanted to be that guy so I went out on that shift so I asked him," Fabbri said. "And the funny part is I asked him again and he’s like, `Are you serious?’ and I’m like, `Well yeah, kind of,’ so that’s what happened."
Steen briefly returned after the hit, but was taken out of the game shortly after for precautionary reasons. He will be re-evaluated Wednesday.
Reaves said Fabbri’s willingness to stick up for a teammate energized the Blues.
"It only motivates us when a guy like that who doesn’t fight and he’s a skill player goes and sticks up for our team," Reaves said. "You’ve got to give him that pat on the back and if that doesn’t get you up, you might as well sit down. And he did a good job. If he would have landed that first one it would have been night-night."
Reinhart’s power-play goal gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead at 7:55 of the first period. The goal came 18 seconds after Upshall took an ill-advised hooking penalty for St. Louis in Buffalo’s zone.
Fabbri tied it three minutes later. All three of his goals during his streak have come on the power play.
Lehner made 11 saves and Allen made eight saves in a scoreless second period. Allen robbed Reinhart with his left pad midway through the frame, while Lehner stopped a Jaskin shot from the slot late in the period.
"We’re strapped for goals," Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. "We’re strapped for opportunities to get the goal and it’s not for a lack of effort, guys are throwing it out there and giving everything they got."
NOTES: Blues F Nail Yakupov was a healthy scratch for the fourth time in six games. … Sabres F Ryan O’Reilly (middle body) and D Dmitry Kulikov (undisclosed) missed the game with injuries. … Sabres F William Carrier was the Blues’ second-round pick (No. 57 overall) in 2013, but was traded to Buffalo in the deal that brought Ryan Miller and Steve Ott to St. Louis.