When the Blackhawks scored two goals in less than three minutes to start the game, a lot of us probably thought the Sabres were in for a long night, and we’d be hearing Chelsea Dagger often. But Buffalo didn’t go away early on and the game stayed tied until the third, when the Hawks finally broke through for a 6-2 victory.
Chicago wasted no time getting down to business, as Andrew Shaw tipped a Niklas Hjalmarsson shot just 59 seconds into the game. Duncan Keith added another with a deep blast, making for two Blackhawks goals in just a few minutes, and suddenly it seemed like the Hawks were going to steamroll over the Sabres.
However, Buffalo cut the Blackhawks lead in half minutes later, when Crawford gave up a rebound and Zemgus Girgensons lifted the puck up and in, then tied it before the intermission when Tyler Ennis got a shorthanded breakaway due to a bit of a careless Brad Richards pass that was picked off.
The posts were not the Blackhawks' friends again tonight, as Ben Smith and Jonathan Toews both hit iron, and the Hawks went into the first intermission tied with Buffalo.
The second period was less eventful than the first. Chicago had a few good chances, especially Hossa, who had a couple of great opportunities. Crawford also came up big in the second, having to make some great saves, including a 2-on-1 and a Nicolas Deslauriers breakaway.
The 2-2 tie was broken about six minutes into the third as Patrick Kane got a quick one-timer past Enroth. Shaw got the puck and threw it into the middle of the ice, where Kane hit it home for his first of the year. Marian Hossa added his first goal of the season on a beautiful shortie -- the 30th of his career -- because he is Marian Hossa and we are not.
Patrick Sharp got a power play goal to make it 5-2, and Daniel Carcillo (no, really) tapped in a beautiful Saad pass to make it 6-2 and finish this one off.
The Blackhawks' special teams were a bit of a mixed bag tonight. The penalty kill looked really good, even before Hossa's shorthanded goal, as the Hawks seemed to have more chances than the Sabres. The power play didn't look too great early on, but finished the night 1-for-4.
Former "beloved" Blackhawk Brandon Bollig will return to the United Center as the Blackhawks host the Flames on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.