For a team looking to take advantage of a cellar-dwelling opponent and a goaltender in Jaroslav Halak needing to snap a string of sub-par performances, the Blues had a start Tuesday that was not what the doctor ordered.

Ten seconds into the game, Buffalo’s Tyler Ennis capitalized on bad break for the Blues when the puck went off a referee and led to a lightning-quick goal. But a Blues' roster which had several players battling the flu took its medicine, scored just a minute later and checked out of First Niagara Center with a 4-1 victory over the Sabres.

Brenden Morrow netted two of the goals, and Chris Stewart, who missed the club’s morning skate because of flu-like symptoms, produced two assists to put the Blues back in the win column after starting off their three-game road trip with a loss Sunday in Washington.

“We knew what to expect (from Buffalo), a new coach, a new management here,” Morrow said. “It kind of breathes some life into the team and they’re going to be energetic and have a lot of excitement, so we knew what to expect from the start…you’ve just got to stick with it. We were strong enough mentally to overcome that one.”

Halak, who had surrendered three goals in each of the last three outings, made 23 saves to pick up his 11th victory of the season. He permitted only the goal by Ennis, keeping the Sabres out of the net the final 59 minute, 50 seconds of the game.

“We needed Jaro today and he was good,” Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. “He was right back to task, where he was before.”

Buffalo entered the night with a record of 5-16-1 for an NHL-low 11 points. The first period has been the Sabres’ main obstacle this season, having been outscored 29-3 in the opening 20 minutes prior to Tuesday’s meeting with the Blues.

That was quickly an afterthought when Buffalo won the face-off and moved up ice. The puck went off a referee, causing trouble for defenseman Jay Bouwmeester and allowing the Sabres’ Ville Leino to head down an open lane. He feed Ennis in the low slot for a 1-0 advantage over the Blues.

“It’s not the way you want it to start, especially me, first shot on net going in,” Halak said. “I just needed to refocus after the first goal and try to stay sharp.”

The Blues helped Halak, evening the scoring 1-1 just 1:09 into the game. Stewart, who was considered a game-time decision, used a no-look, behind-the-back pass to the front of the net, setting up Morrow for his third goal of the season. He picked the corner on Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller for the equalizer.

“They scored a quick one there,” Stewart said. “We answered back quick and kind of set the tempo for the game.”