By Patrick Norton
While they lost their five game win streak with a loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday, the Blackhawks could salvage the weekend with a Sunday evening matchup on the road in upstate New York. The KeyBank Center in the heart of downtown Buffalo was home to tonight’s #HockeyDayInAmerica showdown on NBCSN between two non-conference, non-rival, and unevenly matched teams. I mean, they’re the Sabres. They have Eichel and the brother of some dude on Saad’s line. Anyways, this somehow made a national broadcaster, but it didn’t receive the A-Team broadcasters. We’ll discuss that bit later.
The first period provided a rocky start – what else is new? – for the Blackhawks, but no matter the mistakes the skaters made, #LemontNativeScottDarling was there to rescue his teammates. Ryan Hartman lit the lamp early on and the Blackhawks livened up a bit. Suddenly, puck possession was a Blackhawks tradition that couldn’t be broken. Robin Lehner somehow was keeping his squad in the game, but all momentum found residence on the away team bench. Darling made the saves and all seemed well just seconds from heading into the locker room with a one goal lead after one. But we can’t have nice things, so after the refusal to clear their own end, a turnover occurred and one thing led to another. We all know how this one ends. A crappy goal to end a period to suck the life out of the Hawks. Perfect.
Evander Kane’s goal did not leave a lasting impact. The Hawks went right back to work in the second. Sure, goals seemed harder to come by, but with the blazing pace the Hawks had, it was surely only a matter of time. Ta Da! Marian Hossa and Jonathan Toews tacked on late period tallies and the defense ya know…defended in the final seconds of the period and the Hawks had a commanding grasp on this one.
For good measure, Anisimov deflected in a Patrick Kane shot to increase the lead to three and Kane cut himself a slice of the cake when he undressed Lehner to finish of an offensive gem for the Blackhawks. The road win streak carries on to six. HEADLINE: Kane, Blackhawks cause mayhem in Buffalo. Too soon? Hawks 5, Sabres 1.
Short and sweet tonight, just like Gate. Enjoy your President’s Day and if you can, take a step outside. No hockey worth watching tomorrow, so you’re going to have to find something to do. That is, unless you sleep all day like a wild nocturnal Fatrick. Alright, alright, alright, that’s all, I swear.