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Elliott helps Blues defeat Sabres

Photo: Jeff Roberson

St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott, left, and Alex Pietrangelo celebrate following a 2-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres in an NHL hockey game on Thursday, April 3, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

ST. LOUIS (AP) Brian Elliott stopped 24 shots, and the St. Louis Blues beat the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 on Thursday night for their franchise-record 52nd victory.

Maxim Lapierre and Brenden Morrow scored as St. Louis improved to 14-2-0 in their last 16 games against Buffalo. The previous record for wins in a season belonged to the 1999-2000 Blues, who won 51 games on its way to its last Presidents' Trophy.

Elliott's shutout string ended at 166 minutes, 33 seconds, but he still moved to 18-5-2 overall and 10-1 at home this season. He was coming off a 1-0 win at Pittsburgh when he had 33 stops.

St. Louis (52-17-7) also moved into a tie with Boston for the most points in the league with 111. The Bruins lost 4-3 to Toronto in overtime.

Lapierre scored his eighth goal of the season at 1:59 of the second period, giving St. Louis a 1-0 lead. Parked in the slot, Lapierre took a pass from Ryan Reaves and sent a wrist shot past Buffalo goalie Nathan Lieuwen, who was making his sixth career start.

It was Lapierre's first goal in 23 games. It was the first point by Reaves in 26 games.

St. Louis added its second goal at 18:08 of the third period. Morrow stuffed in a loose rebound for his 13th of the season.

Buffalo's Cody Hodgson cut the Blues' lead to 2-1 with his 18th goal at 19:04. He took a pass from Tyler Ennis and one-timed it past Elliott.

Ryan Miller, St. Louis' No. 1 goalie, got the night off after shutting out Philadelphia on Tuesday. Miller and Steve Ott, who was Buffalo's captain, came to St. Louis on March 1 in a trade that sent goaltender Jaroslav Halak and forward Chris Stewart to the Sabres.

Buffalo then dealt Halak to Washington. Stewart played two games with the Sabres before sustaining a lower-body injury that likely will keep him out for the remainder of the season.

This was Buffalo's only trip to St. Louis this season. The Blues beat the Sabres 4-1 in Buffalo on Nov. 19.

Buffalo fell to 1-13-0 against the Central Division this season.

NOTES: Buffalo LW Marcus Foligno got hurt less than two minutes into the first period and did not return. ... Blues LW Alexander Steen and D Barret Jackman sat out. Steen has an upper-body injury while Jackman has a lower-body injury. They are day to day. ... Sitting out for Buffalo was D Tyler Myers, and G Michal Neuvirth, both with lower-body injuries. ... Actor Lou Ferrigno watched the game and when the scoreboard showed a picture of the Incredible Hulk, it split the screen and Ferrigno appeared. He flexed his muscles to draw cheers from the fans.

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