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A season-long power-play struggle has remained a core issue for the St. Louis Blues.

They went 0-for-4 during a 3-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild Tuesday and failed to convert a late, four-minute man advantage.

So that issue will remain a point of emphasis when the Blues host the Buffalo Sabres Thursday at Enterprise Center.

St. Louis has converted just 9.2 percent of its power plays, which tied Chicago for second-worst in the NHL through Tuesday's games.

The Blues enjoyed ample puck control and offensive zone time on their power play at Minnesota. They got pucks and players around the net but couldn't convert.

"We had looks, but in the end you have to get the job done, and we didn't get it done," Blues coach Craig Berube said.

"Yeah, we had some looks," Blues captain Brayden Schenn said. "I had one. (Tory Krug) had one. There were some chances and possession time.

"Those are the ones, when you need a power-play goal to tie the game, you've got to find a way to capitalize and we didn't. The power play has been better as of late, but those are the ones that you really need."

The Blues' 3-1 loss to the Wild prevented them from moving four games over .500 for the first time all season. They had won eight of their previous 12 games before that loss.

Schenn noted that the Blues also weren't good enough at even strength against the Wild.

"I just think as a five-on-five unit as a whole, we didn't generate enough," he said. "We made it easier on their D-men than we'd like to tonight. We couldn't find a way to get pucks to the goal.

"Five-on-five, we've just got to find a way to be more consistent and better and take over games more and get to the O-zone and tilt the ice a little bit."

The Sabres come to St. Louis after earning an impressive 5-1 road victory over the New York Rangers Monday. That was a nice rebound from their 7-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday.

"It was everyone; everyone put in a lot of effort," said forward Alex Tuch, who has had three goals and two assists over his past three games.

"You know what, we were a little upset with how, obviously, the game went in New Jersey, came out flat. Make all the excuses in the book, but we had to be better and we responded, and that was big for our group."

Buffalo will be trying to push one game over .500 for just the second time this season.

"In this league, you have to stick to a game plan, you have to have consistent a structure, and I thought we were dialed into that," Sabres coach Don Granato said. "Much, much more dialed into that, obviously, and less about individual skill and making a fancy play.

"It's something we have to hit the repeat button on. I think our guys, you get a feeling like this after a game, it's headed for more of the same."

Goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was the beneficiary of that. He has won his past three starts, allowing just five goals in that span. He lowered his goals-against average to 2.54 and raised his save percentage to .918.

--Field Level Media

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