The Blackhawks emerge as the victor in an overtime win against the Buffalo Sabres in Thursday night’s game. THANK THE LORD! Finally! The Blackhawks came to play! The final score of Thursday night’s contest was 4-3. Although, it was close on the scoreboard it was not close on the stat sheet. The Blackhawks outshot the Sabres 43-20. 43!?!? Yeah, you heard that correctly. The Offense came to play and they wouldn’t stop until they found the back of the net. Weirdly enough, though, the Hawks never controlled the lead of the game. They either trailed or were all square. That doesn’t matter, though, a win is a win, and in this case, the Hawks needed it badly.
Let’s get into this,
As a Hawks fan, the first period was quite spectacular. I honestly couldn’t ask for anything more from the Blackhawks after the first. Although the Sabres ended up capitalizing on one opportunity, their offense was literally non-existant. The Blackhawks looked powerful. In the first 7 minutes of the game, the Blackhawks only let up 1 shot. Then at, at 7:21, after an attempt to clear the puck by Brent Seabrook, Marcus Foligno intercepted the pass and took a wrister on net. Unfortunately for the Crawford, the puck went right under his glove to score on their SECOND SHOT. 2 offensive opportunities in 7:21 seconds of play. That’s incredible. The Blackhawks would answer later in the period with 3:09 left on the clock. Rookie, Ryan Hartman, takes the puck up from a battle won on the red line, throws a dirty dangle and puts a shot on net for a Bobby Orr esque goal (Sauce). One word to describe the play: Athletism. Ryan Hartman’s aggressive play style seemed suitable for the play, outskating one Sabre and dangling around another to a diving wrist shot. Uhhh Top Cheddar Bro? Uhhh yessir. The period came to a close with a score of 1-1, but the Blackhawks managed to outshoot the Sabres 20-6. Dyuuummnnn.
The second period was played at center ice. No one really controlled the period. There a lot of takeaways that didn’t really generate that many offensive opportunities. That is until the Blackhawks to make it a sausage fest by drawing a “too many men,” penalty at 17:37. I mean honestly, this isn’t peewee hockey. The Hawks shouldn’t be drawing stupid penalties. They have had three, THREE, sausage fest penalties in the past two games. One thing leads to another and Kyle Okposo decides to jam a puck in the net after a failed wraparound (No Sauce). Trashiest of all goals. Kyle Okposo = Pigeon. 18 seconds later, Anisimov decided to make it an Arty Party by answering to the Sabre’s goal. Michal Kempny rips a clapper that gets blocked in front of the net, Arty gets the rebound does a little swirl and takes a blind wrister at the net (Sauuuuuceee). Call this kid Stevie Wonder because he’s making jazz with his stick. Shortly after, the Blackhawks lucked out on a controversial penalty. Jack Eichel, took the puck up the ice and as he made a move towards the net Brent Seabrook was called for hooking. Honestly, I think it should’ve been called a penalty shot. Luckily, it didn’t, and the period came to a close. Score at the end of the 2nd period was 2-2. Blackhawks outshot the Sabres 9-6.
Going into Third Period the Blackhawks still had to kill a penalty. Jack Eichel decided to get his revenge by scoring on a one-timer 1:10 into the third. Eichel knew the Hawks weren’t going to get away with that one. Hey, we got lucky with the call at the end of the second, but the puck never lies. The Hawks then trailed 3-2 for pretty much the rest of the period. The Sabres were tough. They are a very physical team and play the body whenever an opportunity presents itself. The Blackhawks play a more finesse style, so when opposing teams play the body, it takes a toll. Knowing the Hawks, though, they always seem to crank up the heat late in the game. What’s that? Arty wants to party again? With 2:04 left in regulation, Patrick Kane took a low backhanded shot from the side boards looking for a rebound. Guess What? There was. Artem Anisimov puts one home for his second of the night and ties the game up (Clutch Sauce). I don’t know what I expected. It wouldn’t be a normal Hawks game if it wasn’t a nail biter. Regulation ends, 3-3, Hawks outshot the Sabres 11-8. Let’s go to Overtime boys.
I know most of the actual players and coaches hate the 3 on 3 style over time, but I love it. You can tell going into it that the Hawks wanted it more. After almost completely undressing the Sabres with the dirtiest deke of the century, Toews almost put one past Nilsson for the game winner. The Sabres then tried to take the puck back up the Ice, but Toews was hungry. Toews took the puck away in the defensive zone and went end to end to put a wicked wrister off of Nilsson’s left leg blocker. The rebound found none other than Patrick Kane, and like a piss-drunk friend at a bar, he sent it home. The Blackhawks win 4-3 outshooting the Sabres 43-20. Sabre’s did manage to steal a point, though. Alright, Now let’s go to Hans’ Skateshop for some insights and highlights on the game.
Hans’ Skateshop of Highlights & Insights
The Blackhawks Offense was tremendous. They did exactly what they needed to do in the first. They came out guns blazing, wearing out Nilsson putting up 20 shots in a single period. On his first day back, Marian Hossa put up 15 minutes on the Ice with 2 shots on net. One of which was very close to going in. Although Kane had the OT winner and had 3 points on the night, Artem Anisimov goes down in my book as the number one performing player. ArtyParty adds 2 to his team leading 18 goals on the season. The Kane line finally was brought back to life putting up a total of 5 points on the night. Another positive was Hartman continuing to prove himself as a key player on the team. He tallied his 9th goal on the season in an athletic fashion. Moving forward, the Blackhawks need to stop giving up stupid penalties. Two of the Sabres goals came off of power plays. Overall, huge win by the Hawks which will hopefully reverse this slump.