Blues punch ticket to postseason


The St. Louis Blues have had a little trouble shaking off the Colorado Avalanche lately, but they took care of them 3-1 on Tuesday, clinching a spot in the 2013 playoffs in the process.

Depending upon how the San Jose Sharks fare against the Dallas Stars tonight, the Blues might also hold onto the fifth spot in the West. If that happens, they’d get a chance to avenge last year’s semifinals loss to the Los Angeles Kings. If not, they’d face the prospect of a series against the Vancouver Canucks.

That playoff seeding business will sort itself out as the week winds down, but the Blues can breathe easy that they didn’t fall out of the mix after their breakthrough 2011-12 campaign.

It’s been a turbulent 48-game season with injuries and a three-headed monster in net, but St. Louis could serve as an upset threat in the 2013 postseason.

Video: Eichel’s first career NHL goal

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Didn’t take long for Jack Eichel to make his mark at the NHL level.

The No. 2 overall pick at this year’s draft scored his first-ever NHL goal in his first-ever NHL game on Thursday night, cutting Ottawa’s lead to 2-1 in the third period of Buffalo’s season-opener.

Marcus Foligno and another new Sabre, Evander Kane, registered the assists on Eichel’s marker, which came on the power play.


Tough start: Lehner knocked out of Sabres debut, won’t return

Matt Puempel, Alex Chiasson, Robin Lehner
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Chances are Robin Lehner won’t look back fondly on his first game as a Sabre.

Midway through Buffalo’s season-opener against Ottawa, Lehner — facing his old team for the first time since getting traded this summer — suffered a lower-body injury, and was forced from the contest.

During the second intermission, the Sabres ruled out Lehner for the night.

It was a difficult turn of events for 24-year-old, who admitted he was keen to go up against the Sens. He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his time in the Canadian capital; Lehner felt he never got a full opportunity to run with the No. 1 gig, and probably wasn’t thrilled GM Bryan Murray opted to keep Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond instead of him.

As for tonight’s injury, details are scarce. All that’s known is the ailment was serious enough for Lehner to leave and not return, forcing backup Chad Johnson into duty.

Prior to getting hurt, Lehner had stopped 11 of 12 shots faced.