Blackhawks best Sabres 5-4 in a shootout

Buffalo drops its eighth consecutive road game in second loss to Chicago this season

Jon Simon
March 07, 2019 - 8:33 pm

Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo - USA TODAY Sports


The Buffalo Sabres suffered a tough 5-4 shootout loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night at the United Center in Chicago. 

In one of the more wild and back-and-forth games of the season, the Sabres' top line of Jack Eichel, Jeff Skinner and Sam Reinhart failed to register a point. Carter Hutton stopped 41 of 45 shots faced in goal, but it wasn't enough in the losing effort.  

The Sabres found themselves down 2-0 after the first 20 minutes of play. Buffalo kept Chicago off the scoreboard for the first 15 minutes of the opening period and killed of penalties to Casey Nelson and Rasmus Ristolainen in the process. One positive that can be taken from Thursday's game was that Buffalo's penalty kill was a perfect 5-for-5.

The first period took a bad turn for Buffalo with about four minutes to go in the period. Duncan Keith scored Chicago's first goal amidst a scramble in front of the Sabres' net, followed by a breakaway goal from Artem Anisimov a little more than two minutes later. Buffalo native Patrick Kane picked up assists on both of the Blackhawks' first period goals. 

Momentum swung back in Buffalo's favor during the second period when the Sabres went on a bit of a scoring spree.  

Vladimir Sobotka got Buffalo on the board a little over three minutes into the middle frame with his first goal since February 19 against the Florida Panthers. Brandon Montour would tie the game less than two minutes later after he beat Corey Crawford to the blocker-side with a wrist shot from the slot. 

Moments after he scored his second goal since joining the Sabres, Montour was sent off the ice for tripping, putting Buffalo down a man for two minutes. With 40-seconds left in the penalty kill, Zach Bogosian got a pass from Evan Rodrigues and made a nifty move to get around Crawford and tucked the puck into the corner of the goal to give Buffalo the 3-2 lead. It was Bogosian's first short-handed goal since October 22, 2009 when he was a member of the Atlanta Thrashers.  

The Sabres' three goals came in a 3:29 span of the second period. Buffalo would take the 3-2 lead into the locker room after two periods of play.

Chicago would tied the game a few minutes into the third period when Anisimov ripped a shot off the cross bar, but followed the play and backhanded his own rebound into the net.

The Sabres would take the lead back with 12:40 to play when Evan Rodrigues came in on a 2-on-2 rush and found Kyle Okposo with a backhand pass, which he buried to make the score 4-3.

However, the back-and-forth third period continued and Chicago would respond just 37-seconds later. Brendan Perlini found a lose puck in the slot, turned around and fired it home to knot the game at 4-4. Both teams earned themselves a point after keeping the opposition off the board for the final 12 minutes of regulation.

The five-minute overtime period was packed with just as much excitement as the two periods that preceded it. The extra frame featured back-and-forth action with both sides getting a number of scoring chances.

Chicago put seven shots on goal to the Sabres' five. Brandon Saad probably had the best chance to end the game after he rang a one-timer from Kane off the post midway through the period.

The Blackhawks elected to go first in the shootout and captain Jonathan Towes scored to start the opening round. Eichel would even the shootout at 1-1 after ripping a shot past Crawford in the bottom of round one. 

Kane would put Chicago back in front 2-1 with a slight hesitation move and shot that beat Hutton low glove-side. After Reinhart failed to even the score in the bottom of the second round, Alex DeBrincat would seal the game with a forehand to backhand move and finish, giving the Blackhawks the victory.

With the loss, the Sabres have now dropped eight consecutive games on the road and have not won away from KeyBank Center since January 29 when they defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets, 5-4 at Nationwide Arena.



Goal Summary:

First Period:

CHI: 16:01 - Duncan Keith (4) (Jonathan Towes, Patrick Kane); 18:26 - Artem Anisimov (12) (Dominik Kahun, Patrick Kane) 

Second Period:

BUF: 3:16 - Vladimir Sobotka (5) (Zemgus Girgensons, Tage Thompson); 4:39 - Brandon Montour (7) (Scott Wilson, Zach Bogosian); 6:45 - Zach Bogosian (3) SHG (Evan Rodrigues)

Third Period:

BUF: 7:20 - Kyle Okposo (11) (Evan Rodrigues, Conor Sheary)
CHI: 4:48 - Artem Anisimov (13) (Unassisted); 7:57 - Brendan Perlini (8) (Jonathan Towes, Slater Koekkoek)



Shootout summary:

CHI: Jonathan Towes - GOAL
BUF: Jack Eichel - GOAL
CHI: Patrick Kane - GOAL
BUF: Sam Reinhart - no goal
CHI: Alex DeBrincat - GOAL 


Penalty Summary:

First Period:

BUF: 6:37 - Casey Nelson (Holding - 2 min.); 13:43 - Rasmus Ristolainen (Roughing - 2 min.)
CHI: 18:30 - David Kampf (Tripping - 2 min.)

Second Period:

BUF: 5:19 - Brandon Montour (Tripping - 2 min.); 13:48 - Casey Mittelstadt (Hooking - 2 min.); 19:15 - Brandon Montour (Delay of Game - Puck over glass - 2 min.)
CHI: 11:40 - Jonathan Towes (Slashing - 2 min.)

Third Period:




Shots on Goal:

BUF: 39 (14, 12, 8, 5)
CHI: 45 (16, 12, 10, 7)


BUF: Carter Hutton - 41 saves 
CHI: Corey Crawford - 35 saves 

Power Plays:

BUF: 0-for-2 (0%)
CHI: 0-for-5 (0%)

Three Stars:

  1. Artem Anisimov - CHI
  2. Zach Bogosian - BUF
  3. Patrick Kane - CHI

What's next:

The blue and gold continue their road trip and will head further west. The Sabres will be in Colorado on Saturday to face-off against the Avalanche. The puck drops at 3 p.m. on the flagship home of the Sabres Radio Network - WGR Sports Radio 550. Pre-game coverage with Brian Koziol begins at 2 p.m.

Comments ()