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Blackhawks vs. Sabres final score 2015: Wild finish helps Chicago steal 2 points in shootout

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The Hawks win in their first shootout of the season.

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The Blackhawks needed something to give them life trailing late against the Sabres on Saturday afternoon. A couple late penalties and the subsequent 6-on-3 man advantage were just enough in a 3-2 shootout win, which came after the team trailed with less than two minutes remaining. Chicago has now won six of its past eight games.

Patrick Kane scored the game-tying goal and shootout winner in his hometown, which offered both boos and cheers for the the star winger every time he touched the puck. Kane slid one past Chad Johnson late in the third period with three extra men on the ice thanks to a ridiculous pass from Artemi Panarin, then beat Johnson again for the shootout's lone goal to clinch the victory. He's now the third player to reach 20 goals this season after Jamie Benn and Vladimir Tarasenko.

It was a surprising ending to a game that had seen Chicago going through the motions after the unusually early start. Other than a nice power-move goal from rookie Dennis Rasmussen, who continues to impress since being called up from Rockford, the Hawks weren't able to get much going and didn't seem to have a ton of urgency to change that.

And then Buffalo came with those late penalties, which totally changed the energy in a game that was clearly going the Sabres' way. After the goals from Cody Franson and Ryan O'Reilly that put the team ahead, it took just a few minutes for all that to completely unravel against a Hawks team that's too talented to waste those kinds of opportunities.

Unable to score initially with the 5-on-3 advantage given by the pair of Buffalo penalties, Joel Quenneville pulled Corey Crawford with just over a minute remaining to put all hands on deck. That left the Sabres' defenders to make almost impossible decisions once backed up in their own end. Panarin got left open with several seconds to decide when to pounce, then fired a perfect pass across the slot to Kane, who got it past Johnson to capitalize.

That set up an overtime that yielded a Sabres power play and Artem Anisimov breakaway, but no goals. In the shootout, Crawford was perfect in stopping all three chances, and while Jonathan Toews was unable to score, Kane came up second and deposited one of classic slick backhand shots to win the game.

Chicago improves to 19-11-4 this season. With 42 points, the Hawks are tied with the Blues for second in the Central, although St. Louis has played one fewer game and will have a chance to add to its total this afternoon. Buffalo falls to 14-16-4.