For the Sabres second matchup against the Stanley Cup champions, it felt like it was a matter of time until Chicago finally broke through to finish the Sabres off.
Coming into the game Buffalo had not won in Chicago in five tries. Unfortunately, that streak continued for the Sabres who registered their sixth loss in Chicago and sixth loss in a row, while the Blackhawks won, 3-1.
Chad Johnson was spectacular, finishing the game with 42 saves on 44 shots for the Sabres.
In the first period, Chicago and Buffalo tied for 11 shots apiece. After that Chicago pummeled Buffalo in the shot total, 34-18, over the last two periods.
Chicago connected at the end of the first with Niklas Hjalmarsson scoring with 1:34 left for his second of the year to go up 1-0. Hjalmarsson would pick up an assist on the game-winning goal late in the third, which Phillip Danault scored with just under five minutes to go, firing a tight shot inside the left corner of Chad Johnson.
Jonathan Toews got his 15th of the year with an empty net goal with 24 seconds left to ice the game for the Hawks. He finished the night with an goal and assist.
Corey Crawford stopped 28 of 29 shots for his 22nd victory of the season.
The Sabres highlights were limited tonight. Ryan O’Reilly did score midway in third for his 17th of the year to tie the game at 1. Jamie McGinn got the primary assist his 11th of the year when he fed O’Reilly in front.
Jake McCabe had a solid game connecting on five hits in the game registering 23:09 minutes of ice time.
Evander Kane finished with three shots, including one where he split the Chicago D and hit the left post. Zemgus Girgensons led the team with five shots tonight.
Buffalo News writer and Sabres beat reporter Mike Harrington reflected well on twitter after the game about the Sabres scoring issues this year and why they have lost six in a row: “#Sabres have 26 losses this season. That’s the 19th by one or two goals. Just not enough offense. Goaltending can’t make a single mistake.”
The Sabres hope to break their losing streak Sunday at 3 p.m. in Winnipeg against the Jets, who are 2-1-1 in 2016. This game will also be Evander Kane’s first back in Winnipeg since being traded to the Sabres last March.