Buffalo native Patrick Kane smacked home a rebound off a Jonathan Toews wrister in overtime to give the Chicago Blackhawks a 4-3 victory on Thursday night.
The Sabres blew three different one-goal leads over the course of the game, the final one being knotted up by Artem Anisimov with just over two minutes remaining in regulation.
Buffalo worked its way to the first goal of the game when Jack Eichel and Marcus Foligno created some pressure in the offensive zone. Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook tried to clear the puck but Foligno caught it with his skates at the blue line, skated towards goalie Corey Crawford and buried the shot for his sixth goal of the year.
Chicago’s Ryan Hartman knotted the game up at 1 before the end of the period on a self-created breakaway after he skated right by Sabre defenseman Taylor Fedun on an outisde-inside move. His wrist shot gave Anders Nilsson no chance.
Kyle Okposo regained the one goal Buffalo advantage late in the 2nd period on the power play. Again it was Eichel creating havoc in the offensive zone, this time getting a stick-lift on a Chicago defenseman that allowed the puck to continue around the board to Okposo. The former Islander was 1-on-1 with Crawford and he managed his backhanded shot by him.
The Sabres enjoyed that lead a whole 18 seconds before Anisimov put in his first of the night. Chicago looked to take a lead into the 3rd period with a great offensive possession, but Eichel found the puck and streaked the length of the ice alone toward Crawford.
Eichel drew a hooking penalty with eight seconds remaining in the period but was not awarded a penalty shot. Instead, he waited until the 3rd and blasted a shot from the point off of a lengthy backhand feed from Ryan O’Reilly. It was Eichel’s eighth tally of the season.
Buffalo enjoyed that 3-2 lead for most of the period until Anisimov answered with his second of the night. Chicago enjoyed success early by shooting over top of Anders Nilsson. Both Hartman and Anisimov went top-shelf on the Swedish netminder. Then the final two goals came on juicy rebounds that Nilsson left in front of the net.
Nilsson gave up four goals but wasn’t getting much help from the skaters in front of him as he was pummeled with shots all night long. He ended the contest with 39 saves, his third-highest total in a game this season.
Buffalo goes home to take on Winnipeg after going 1-1-1 on its’ three-game road trip. Puck drop is slated for 1: pm, an afternoon tilt from KeyBank Center.