Two New York teams in two nights. Two wins. Is Chicago still the “Second City?”
After defeating the Islanders Friday, the Blackhawks tallied a 2-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres Saturday.
About halfway through the first, Ben Smith redirected a shot from Brent Seabrook, getting the Hawks on the board early. Smith played on the fourth line, scoring his first goal of the year but earning his second point in two nights.
He was also rattled by a rough hit from behind from Steve Ott later in the first.
“I thought [Smith] had a good game, nice to see him score and I thought that line played well too,” Quenneville told media. “The other lines, we’re generating a lot of high-quality stuff, but we’ve got nothing to show for it.”
Not quite “nothing.”
Patrick Kane scored on a Power Play (quite a feat for Chicago!) against his hometown team at 19:35 in the second period. It was a Patrick-to-Patrick play with an assist from Sharp. This was Kane’s fourth goal in five games.
But, otherwise, Sabres goalie Ryan Miller held strong, stopping 38 of 40 shots.
In the third, the Sabres outshot the Hawks 13-3, yielding one goal by Drew Stafford, and threatening to make things exciting for a Chicago team with a penchant for losing leads late in games.
“We had some chances to make it 3-1 tonight,” Kane said. “I don’t think we got the shots that we wanted, or didn’t get them through to the net, so hopefully it will come as the season goes on. I think we have a lot of confidence from what we did last year in these close games to come out and win them, so hopefully we’ll get better at preserving the lead a little bit.
“It would be nice to score that third goal. I think sometimes you might think about that too much. You start thinking too much on the offensive side and we’re giving up more chances defensively. We’ve got to be better at that.”
It seemed apparent the team was trying to set up Patrick Sharp for that third goal. That would have made 200 career goals the same night as his 600th game. He’s also expecting a second baby girl any day.
The Blackhawks take on the Hurricanes Tuesday.