Hawks hang on to defeat Sabres 2-1
In what could be a tale of two hockey games the Chicago Blackhawks hung on to win over another Eastern Conference foe.
The Hawks opened up the game dominating in the first period with a 20-6 shots on goal advantage. The second period was pretty even and the third period you would have to give the nod to Buffalo, for which team was dictating play. The Sabres held the shots on goal edge in this tilt 13-3.
The difference in this game was the Hawks special teams as they held the Sabres 0-3 on the power play while they netted a Patrick Kane power play goal which turned out to be the game winner. The other difference was Corey Crawford who was white hot as the game went on. Crawford looked like he was in playoff form in this game.
The Blackhawks scoring was opened by Ben Smith scoring his first goal this year off of a Brent Seabrook blast from the point that was redirected in front of Sabres’ goalie Ryan Miller. Miller was stellar in between the Buffalo pipes and really kept his team in the game early which is the continuing story in Buffalo. Duncan Keith also had an assist on the Smith goal which marks his fourth of this early season.
Late in the second period it was the Patrick to Patrick show only this time it was Patrick Sharp to Patrick Kane on a power play. Patrick Sharp took full advantage of that extra space behind the Buffalo net when he circled it to the far side and flicked a beauty of a pass across ice to Patrick Kane waiting at the near side to beat Miller glove side. Andrew Shaw also picked up an assist on the play.
The Hawks were rolling 2-0 when the third period opened but Buffalo had other ideas and pushed the Hawks the entire period netting a Drew Stafford goal and making the Hawks lives uncomfortable particularly in the last 6 minutes of the game.
The other notables in this game were Ben Smith had a scary moment when he was violently pushed into the boards by Buffalo’s Steve Ott. He went into the near boards in the Sabres zone awkwardly but was able to return and play the rest of the game without any issues.
Brandon Pirri made his Hawks debut this season centering the fourth line between Brandon Bollig and Ben Smith.
The Hawks held on to win and garner another couple of points as they now prepare for the road to face the Carolina Hurricanes.
Three Stars of the game:
1. Corey Crawford
2. Ryan Miller
3. Patrick Sharp
Next game Tuesday, October 15, at 6 p.m. CDT from Carolina. Tune in to CSN in the Chicago; or listen via WGN 720.