Kirby Dach scored twice and Corey Crawford made 33 saves as the Blackhawks won their fourth straight with a 4-1 victory over the Sabres on Sunday at the United Center.
It was Dach’s first multiple goal game of his career, joining Patrick Kane as the only players in franchise history to score two goals in the regular season as an 18-year-old. Kane also scored a power-play goal to extend his point streak to nine games.
The scoring opened with Dach getting a goal late in the first period as he floated a puck over Carter Hutton’s shoulder.
A great give-and-go with Dominik Kubalik as Dach buffaloed his way through the Buffalo defense led to the scoring chance, and Dach just buried it. He’d do it again in a similar fashion in the second period, as coach Jeremy Colliton opted to keep the fourth line out after a TV timeout instead of going to another line with an offensive zone draw.
A tape-to-tape pass from Zack Smith and Dach again buried it backhand for Chicago to score the first two goals in a game for the 13th straight outing.
The other thing that happened in the second period was Brandon Saad making this face, which needs to be immortalized.
The Blackhawks killed off a penalty to open the third, and got one of their own almost immediately as Connor Murphy drew a cross-checking penalty by Jake McCabe. After Andrew Shaw and Dylan Strome combined to win the faceoff, Kane put it away to make it a 3-0 game.
Jonathan Toews also scored early for 4-0 advantage. Jack Eichel came back the other way to break the drought for Buffalo.
The Blackhawks’ power play, before Kane scored in the final frame, struggled mightily, with only seven shots and three high-danger opportunities in the first four man-advantage opportunities. There needs to be more consistency with that unit if the Blackhawks are truly going to convert this momentum into anything meaningful. Meanwhile, the penalty kill continued to excel, but it wasn’t exactly hard as Buffalo came into this game 0-for-14 in their last six games.
The Blackhawks did decently well in terms of possession this game, beating the Sabres in high-danger chances at even strength and coming close in Corsi (47.37 percent) and scoring chances (48.84 percent).
It was also the best game Crawford has played to this point this season.
1. Kirby Dach (CHI) - 2 goals, 4 shots, 1 takeaway
2. Corey Crawford (CHI) - 33 saves, eight high-danger saves, 2.74 expected goals against
3. Patrick Kane (CHI) - 1 goal, 3 shots, 1 takeaway
The Blackhawks host the Hurricanes on Tuesday at the United Center.