Sabres score late, defeat Chicago 5-3

Nick Baptiste scores twice, including the game-winning goal

Pat Malacaro
March 17, 2018 - 1:10 pm

Photo: Kevin Hoffman - USA TODAY Sports


Nick Baptiste scored twice in the third period, once to tie the game in addition to the game-winning goal, in the Buffalo Sabres' 5-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday afternoon at KeyBank Center.

Here's how the game unfolded:

First Period:

19:02 - Jack Eichel is on the ice for his first shift back from injury. He is on a line with Jason Pominville and Zemgus Girgensons.

14:21 - Much better start today for the blue and gold than two nights ago when Toronto dominated. The Blackhawks have been able to get players into good scoring positions, but the chances are one and done opportunities, not sustained rushes. It is Buffalo that seems to be dictating the pace for the most part, and have six shots on goal already.

10:10 - Chicago has found their legs, and are now starting to assert themselves. Chad Johnson had to make one or two very good saves to keep it scoreless. Shots are now 7-7 for the two teams.

8:05 - Brendan Guhle is called for the game's first penalty, a slashing minor. We'll see if his teammates are able to kill it off and keep this game without a score.

4:15 - Chicago's power play lacked any real fire power. Buffalo did a very nice job of clogging upo the shooting lanes and keeping the east to west passes that can disrupt the defense. Still scoreless late in the opening period.

1:50 - SABRES GOAL. Benoit Pouliot was at the right place at the right time and was able to slam home the puck on a rebound chance into a wide open net. It was the culmination of a good couple of shifts for Buffalo 1-0 BUF.

End of Period

Goal Summary:

BUF: 18:10 - Benoit Pouliot (13) (Rasmus Ristolainen, Sam Reinhart)

Penalty Summary:

BUF: 11:55 - Brendan Guhle (2 min., slashing)

Shots on Goal:

BUF - 12, CHI - 12


Second Period:

15:29 - This period has been all Chicago, even since the puck drop. They nearlt scored right at the start of the frame, and have continued to make life miserable for Johnson in the Buffalo crease. The netminder has been up to the task so far on all 20 Blackhawk shots on goal, but I get the feeling that it will not be the case all game long.


11:45 - BLACKHAWKS GOAL. With both sides skating 4-on-4 due to penalties, Patrick Kane was able to draw all of the attention of the blue and gold and put the puck right on the stick of Jordan Oesterle. The defenseman has no trouble slamming the shot home into a somewhat open goal to tie the score. 1-1 tie.

8:53 - SABRES GOAL. Ryan O'Reilly crashed to the front of the net, and a loose puck that popped up into the air was knocked home by the forward. Chicago has been the far better team this period, but is back down by a goal. 2-1 BUF.

5:45 - BLACKHAWKS GOAL. A very good bounce off of Rasmus Ristolainen goes right into the Buffalo goal. A bad break for the blue and gold has re-tied the game. Shots on goal are 13-4, that is the thing that happens when it is a one-sided period. 2-2 tie

End of Period

Goal Summary:

BUF: 11:07 - Ryan O'Reilly (20) PPG (Sam Reinhart, Jack Eichel)
CHI: 8:15 - Jordan Oesterle (5) (Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews). 14:15 - Tomas Jurco (4) (unassisted)

Penalty Summary:

BUF: 6:35 - Rasmus Ristolainen (2 min., interference)
CHI: 7:00 - Vinnie Hinostroza (2 min., tripping). 9:46 - Tomas Jurco (2 min., slashing) 

Shots on Goal:

BUF - 6 (18), CHI - 16 (28)


Third Period:

19:40 - BLACKHAWKS GOAL. The two players that have dominated the series for the past decade, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Towes, combine for a goal just seconds into the final stanza. Kane hits Towes with a pass through the neutral zone, and after the shot cannot be handled, the Chicago captain bats the puck out of the air and into the goal. 3-2 CHI

17:43 - SABRES GOAL. The lead is short lived for the visitors after a shot from the point finds its way through traffic and into the net. Justin Bailey did enough at the top of the crease of J-F Berube. Nick Baptiste tipped home the Nathan Beaulieu shot that tied the game for a third time today. 3-3 tie.

13:57 - Duncan Keith's tripping penalty has given Buffalo a window here to re-take the lead for a third time today. Can the blue and gold get it done?

5:03 - This has been a very quick period of game action. I am not sure that there has been a whistle since the Keith penalty.

3:57 - Brent Seabrook is called for a hooking penalty. This is another golden opportunity for Buffalo to score the game-winning goal. 

1:56 - SABRES GOAL. I am not sure if it will officially be credited as a power play goal, but Nick Baptiste's beautiful tip of a Marco Scandella shot from the point has given Buffalo a one-goal lead late in this game. Great goal. 4-3 BUF.

:38.4 - SABRES GOAL. Sam Reinhart puts the icing on the cake with an empty-net goal. 5-3 BUF.

End of Game
Buffalo 5, Chicago 3

Goal Summary:

BUF: 2:17 - Nick Baptiste (3) (Nate Beaulieu, Victor Antipin). 18:04 - Nick Baptiste (4) (Marco Scandella, Johan Larsson). 19:21 - Sam Reinhart (19) ENG (Ryan O'Reilly)
CHI: 0:20 - Jonathan Towes (20) (Brandon Saad, Patrick Kane)

Penalty Summary:

CHI: 5:50 - Duncan Keith (2 min., tripping). 16:03 - Brent Seabrook (2 min., hooking) 

Shots on Goal:

BUF - 14 (32), CHI - 9 (37)


BUF: Chad Johnson - 34 saves
CHI: Jean-Francois Berube - 27 saves

Power Plays:

BUF: 1 for 4 (25%)
CHI: 0 for 2 (0%)

Three Stars:

  1. Nick Baptiste - BUF
  2. Ryan O'Reilly - BUF
  3. Sam Reinhart - BUF

What's Next:

The Sabres have three more home games before heading out on the road next week. First up for the blue and gold is a date with the Nashville Predators at 7 p.m. on Monday night. You can hear all of the action on the flagship home of the Sabres Radio Network - WGR Sports Radio 550, starting with the pre-game show. Mike Schopp and the Bulldog begin our coverage from (716) Food and Sport at 6 p.m.

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