The combination of Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling’s 25 saves, and Sabre killer Patrick Kane’s goal and assist, along with his linemate Artemi Panarin’s 2 points, proved to be too much for a tired Buffalo Sabres team having just completed their 11th game in 18 days, all in the month of February. The Sabres gave all they could with what they had left to give. However, as the game wore on, it was evident the schedule had finally caught up with them.
Each team traded chances through most of the first with Chicago unable to capitalize on a few wide open opportunities. However, the Sabres couldn’t hold them off forever when Ryan Hartman fired a laser into the twine for his 14th from Tanner Kero and Duncan Keith at the 13:34 mark.
Then with just 5.6 seconds left in the first, Evander Kane tied the game going top shelf with his 21st from Jack Eichel and Rasmus Ristolainen. Kane now has 15 points (9+6) in his last 14 games. Also, Eichel now has 12 points in his last 10 games.
Chicago in the 2nd period scored a pair goals for a 3-1 lead beginning with Marion Hossa’s 21st at 9:40 from Marcus Kruger and Michal Kempny. Then at 15:26 Jonathan Toews added his 12th with help from Richard Panik and Nick Schmaltz. I thought Panik and Schmaltz both had great games for the ‘Hawks.
With the start of the 3rd period, down by two, the Buffalo Sabres and their fans have heard this song played repeatedly. May this be another one of those times those young legs find the energy to spark a comeback? Not on this night, I’m afraid.
Chicago ran away with this one in the 3rd as they added two more tallies to their total on the evening. Artem Anisimov scored his 21st of the season with assist’s going to Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin 3:29 into the final frame. Then just over 3 minutes later Patrick Kane scored his 20th from Artemi Panarin. The Sabres didn’t play bad, they were just a step behind the whole game. If you want to call that playing bad, okay. It’s only human to be physically and mentally tired against a team that is fresh and aware. Could the Sabres still have won the game? Sure, but I highly doubt it. Although, it is Hockey and anything can happen on any given night to any team.
The Sabres will now have their mandatory break in the action. Saturday the 25th they will begin a two-game stint on the road in Colorado and then finish in Phoenix on Sunday at 8:30 p.m.
That pass from Jack ?? pic.twitter.com/hWkxaGMXbO
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) February 19, 2017