The Blackhawks would continue their torrid play in the first period as they compiled a 20-6 edge in shots through the first twenty minutes. If it weren’t for the stellar efforts of Ryan Miller, the game would have been over after the first period. However, only Ben Smith could get one past Miller as he deflected a Brent Seabrook shot for his first goal of the season at 9:26 of the period.
The second period featured more domination from the Blackhawks who had a 37-16 edge in shots after the period. Despite numerous great chances, Corey Crawford and Miller continued their duel making highlight save after save. The only goal of the period would be when Patrick Sharp threaded a perfect cross slot pass to Patrick Kane who fired a shot from the right faceoff circle just under the glove of Miller for a power play goal at 19:35.
In the third period, the tables turned as Buffalo dominated play with a 13-3 edge in shots. Crawford again made several huge saves but could not stop a Drew Stafford shot at 11:49. However, there would be no third period collapse tonight as Crawford and the Blackhawks shut down the Sabres the rest of the way.
What it means
The Blackhawks have now bounced back after their disappointing loss on Wednesday to win two games. They are 3-0-1 at home so far this year. It has been a strong effort in the third period as they have allowed just one goal in the past two games.
3 stars of the game
3. Patrick Kane- Kane scored the game winner tonight and had a team high six shots on goal. Another theme has been the two way dominance of Kane who also had four takeaways. It has been a hot start for Kane who has scored four goals in the first five games this year.
2. Ryan Miller- There has not been another goalie who has been more unlucky than Miller. He is now 0-4 and has only allowed 9 goals this year. He made 38 saves on 40 shots and Miller has recorded a save percentage of above .940 in three of his four games this season.
1. Corey Crawford- Crawford had a stellar game especially in the second and third periods making several point blank saves. On the night, Crawford made 28 saves on 29 shots. This was the best game of the year for Crawford who allowed one goal for the first time.