Instant analysis: Hawks 4, Sabres 3
Here's a quick look at the Blackhawks' 4-3 win over the Sabres on Saturday.
How it Happened: Patrick Sharp is either in the right place at the right time or knows where to go to score goals. He put in a rebound with one second left on a power play in the third period to put the Blackhawks on top for good. It was the second goal of the night for Sharp and fourth of the weekend. The Hawks trailed 3-2 entering the third period and played a relatively poor game for the first 40 minutes, including giving up 19 shots in the opening 20 minutes. The Hawks were fortunate to get the tying goal after Jonathan Toews took a penalty during a delayed call on the Sabres, but Dave Bolland scored on the ensuing four-on-four. Marian Hossa scored his fifth of the season and has at least a point in every game this year. The Hawks had to kill off a late five-on-three power play by the Sabres -- that’s been a trend lately -- after Tomas Kopecky was called for boarding and Nick Boynton for hooking. A Buffalo penalty during that power play negated the two man advantage.
What it Means: The Hawks struggled yet again at home but overcame poor play early and a bad break by the referees to earn the 4-3 win. A Duncan Keith goal was overturned after the refs said that Kopecky made contact with Lalime. No penalty was called and replays clearly showed Kopecky was knocked into the goal by Steve Montador of Buffalo. The Hawks improved to 3-2-1, sweeping their first set of back-to-back games.
Retaliation: With the game close all night, there weren’t many opportunities for the Sabres to exact any revenge on Niklas Hjalmarsson for his hit on Jason Pominville last weekend. Hjalmarsson returned from suspension to play in this game while Pominville remains out with a concussion. There were several mid-ice scrums but no fights.
What’s Next: The Hawks continue their every-other-day playing odyssey to start the season, but this time they get to sleep in their own beds. They will host the St. Louis Blues on Monday before welcoming the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday.