The Chicago Blackhawks are always a tough opponent to beat. In fact the Sabres have dropped the past seven games against Chicago coming into today, and haven’t defeated them at First Niagara Center since Dec 11, 2009, a 2-1 victory.
It looked as if Buffalo may put an end to that streak as they had a 2-1 lead with a few minutes remaining in regulation. After taking a pair of minor penalties at the same time, the Sabres found themselves down two men.
With goaltender Corey Crawford pulled to make it a 6-on-3, Patrick Kane was there to tie the game at two with 33 seconds left to play, but he wasn’t done there. Kane scored the lone goal in the shootout to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 victory Saturday afternoon.
Kane received a loud series of boos every time he touched the puck.
“Some guys on the bench said I’m getting booed, some said I’m getting cheered,” Kane said. You try to block that stuff out.”
The Blackhawks managed to kill off a penalty in overtime, as did the Sabres. Buffalo took a penalty on Kane’s game-tying goal, so most of that extended into the overtime.
Crawford started and came in and stopped 25 of 27 shots, improving his record to 6-0 against Buffalo, along with a 1.80 GAA and a .933 save percentage.
At the other end and coming off a 44 save shutout, Chad Johnson received the start in goal again. He stopped 26 of 28 shots he faced and gave the Sabres a good chance to defeat the defending Stanley Cup Champions.
“Thought it was a very good game for our team. Tie the game, get that great goal from O’Reilly line, then stuck killing late.” – Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma
Cody Franson and Ryan O’Reilly scored the goals for Buffalo. Dennis Rasmussen opened the scoring for Chicago in the first period as he beat Chad Johnson on the glove side.
“A lot of positives we can take from that,” Cody Franson said. “We were in tough situations against a great power play and we did a good job. No quit.”
The Sabres are off until next Saturday when they are scheduled to take on the Bruins in Boston. That game will be a 7 p.m. puck drop.