Blues without Schwartz heading into game with Sabres
ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Blues will be without one of their top forwards for Sunday night’s home game against the Buffalo Sabres, but the bigger question is how many more contests Jaden Schwartz will have to miss.
The team announced Sunday morning that Schwartz was placed on injured reserve with a right ankle injury and he will be re-evaluated in six weeks.
Schwartz sustained an injury when he blocked a shot in the Blues’ 6-1 win over the Red Wings on Saturday in Detroit. He had to be helped off the ice after suffering the injury, which occurred late in the first period, and was not able to put any pressure on his right leg.
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Schwartz did not return for the final two periods and the Blues said after the game that initial X-rays were negative.
“He’s obviously really sore right now so we’ll get him re-examined when we get home,” St. Louis coach Mike Yeo said.
Before having to leave the game, Schwartz scored his 14th goal of the season to briefly tie Brayden Schenn for the team lead. Schenn scored his 15th of the season in the game’s final minute.
With Schwartz out at least six weeks, one player who could move up to his spot on the team’s top line is Dmitrij Jaskin, who scored his fourth goal of the season on Saturday. Jaskin has six points (three goals, three assists) in his last nine games while playing on either the third or fourth line.
“It’s the best hockey he has played,” Yeo said of Jaskin. “His confidence is high, he’s playing with more pace to his game. He’s getting involved every night.”
The Blues are expected to start Jake Allen in goal for the second game in as many days. He stopped 28 of 29 shots on Saturday and has allowed just one goal in his last two contests against a combined 58 shots as the Blues extended their current winning streak to three games.
The Sabres also will have a hot goalie going for them, but Robin Lehner will be coming off a frustrating 3-2 overtime loss Friday night in Chicago. He surrendered the winning goal with just 4.9 seconds remaining in overtime.
That came after Jack Eichel was stopped on a penalty shot earlier in the overtime.
“I get a chance to win the game in overtime, I don’t do it,” Eichel said. “Yeah, I need to score that goal. Yeah, this (stinks).”
Lehner has faced 88 shots in his last two games, stopping 83 of them. He encountered 51 shots against the Blackhawks.
“I’ve been feeling good lately,” Lehner told the Buffalo News. “It’s tough when we’re not getting wins. I work hard in practice to try to improve my game and I think everyone is. That’s what matters.”
The loss to the Blackhawks left the Sabres with a 7-17-5 record, last in the Eastern Conference. They have won only two of 14 games since Nov. 7.