Patrick Kane's OT goal lifts Chicago Blackhawks over Buffalo Sabres

Tom Musick, The Sports Xchange
Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane. UPI/Brian Kersey
Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane. UPI/Brian Kersey | License Photo

CHICAGO -- Patrick Kane grew up cheering for his hometown Buffalo Sabres.

Now that the Chicago Blackhawks sign Kane's checks, his allegiances have changed. Kane flashed a wide smile after scoring 56 seconds into overtime to lift Chicago to a 4-3 comeback win over Buffalo on Thursday night.


"That was my childhood, right?" Kane said. "Growing up going to Sabres games, sometimes you sit back and think it's surreal that you're actually playing against them."

Kane finished with a goal and two assists, and Artem Anisimov scored two goals as the Blackhawks erased a 3-2 deficit with 2:04 to go in the third period. Chicago (24-12-5) snapped a two-game losing streak and won at home for the first time since Dec. 18.

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"That's kind of been the (theme) of the year, guys coming up with big goals at the end of the game to tie it up for us or for us to go up," said Ryan Hartman, who also scored for Chicago. "You've got to look at it in a positive way. We battle and find a way to win."

Forwards Jack Eichel, Marcus Foligno and Kyle Okposo scored for the Sabres. Buffalo (14-15-9) earned a point on the road but remained winless in its last 10 meetings against the Blackhawks.


Chicago improved to 8-5 in overtime. Buffalo dropped to 3-9 in the extra session.

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"It's just tough," said Eichel, who led the Sabres with five shots on goal. "I think we all really wanted that second point. I think it's almost been the tale of our season. We get to these situations, and we're not able to put a stamp on the game. That's why we find ourselves out of the playoffs and kind of far back. It's disappointing."

Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford stopped 17 of 20 shots to improve to 14-8-3.

Sabres goaltender Anders Nilsson drew the loss despite stopping 39 of 43 shots.

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Buffalo pulled ahead 3-2 on Eichel's one-timer 1:10 into the third period. The shot marked Eichel's eighth goal in 17 games this season and extended his point streak to five games. Ryan O'Reilly slid a backhand pass across the slot to set up the goal.

Anisimov scored with 2:04 remaining in the third period to even the score at 3. Kane zipped a shot on net, and Anisimov punched in the loose puck near the crease for his second goal of the game and his team-leading 18th goal of the season.


Kane buried a rebound from Jonathan Toews to seal the overtime win.

"They have some very good skill on that team, and when they put those guys out there for three on three, you know they're going to come and they're going to create some scoring chances," Nilsson said. "Toews made a good play. He put it far pad, and then Kane came in the middle and banged in the rebound."

A turnover by Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook helped Buffalo grab a 1-0 lead with12:39 to play in the first period. Foligno intercepted the puck in the offensive zone and ripped a shot from the left circle for his sixth goal of the season and second in the past four games.

Chicago tied it with 3:40 remaining in the first period. Hartman carried the puck toward the left circle, split a double team and fired a wrist shot above Nilsson's glove for his seventh goal.

Buffalo regained a 2-1 lead on a power-play goal with 1:50 remaining in the second period. Okposo scored on a second effort in front of the net for his team-leading 12th goal.


Eighteen seconds later, Chicago got even. Anisimov spun from his backhand to his forehand and released a rising shot from the right circle that sailed past Nilsson.

"Certainly, a big two points," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "It kind of changed the flow that we've had recently. I liked how we played tonight."

NOTES: Blackhawks RW Marian Hossa returned to the lineup for the first time since Dec. 20 and recorded two shots in 15:23 of ice time. Hossa, 37, missed the previous five games because of an upper-body injury. ... Sabres C Ryan O'Reilly returned to action less than two weeks after undergoing an emergency appendectomy. O'Reilly notched two assists in 19:43 of ice time.. ... Blackhawks LW Spencer Abbott was held scoreless in his team debut two days after he was recalled from the AHL's Rockford IceHogs. Abbott, 28, appeared in one game with the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 2013-14 campaign. He spent last season in the Swedish Hockey League. ... Sabres LW William Carrier did not play because of an illness. ... Blackhawks D Brian Campbell was a healthy scratch for the second time in the past four games.


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