Saturday night the Chicago Blackhawks took a trip to upstate New York to take on the Buffalo Sabres. Rookie Arvid Soderblom gets the start on the road and he was very busy the entire night. Just 3 minutes in Soderblum shows his athleticism by moving quickly to his left and stops a rebound with a glove side stretch to save a goal.
Ok, in the spirit of Halloween, let's just say that the Sabres are wizards. Let me explain. The Sabres score a power play goal by winger Olofsson just 6:26 into the game. At that point the Sabres were outworking the Hawks with a 10-0 shot differential. The Hawks staff quickly challenge and it's ruled offsides and no goal.
Here is where it starts to get spooky. Olofsson then scores just 6:19 into the game. Somehow they reversed time by 7 seconds and scored before the first goal. They are wizards. Obviously the offsides was around 15 seconds before the goal and then they scored on the draw (rifle of a shot high blocker side) but still... spooky.
The Hawks go on the power play down 1-0 and while the first unit has nice chances it's the second unit that gets a greasy goal in the crease. This will be the theme for the Hawks all night. I wanted to point out a quick play that caught my eye. With 1:39 left in the 1st Blackhawks forward Jason Dickinson helps out on the right dot on a skate around and then quickly got back to defend center ice and stop the attack. It's this type of defense which makes him so valuable to our team. Excellent two way game from him tonight.
Chicago's second goal was much like the first: outwork and out hustle the other team in close. The shift after that goal was amazing! Kurashev was all over the ice and eventually his shot is rebounded by Taylor Raddysh (where else but right in the paint) and he scores past Sabres goalie and former Hawk Craig Anderson. 3-1 Chicago going into the final frame.
At this stage we all had to feel pretty lucky to be up. Buffalo had around 1/2 dozen A+ chances while the Blackhawks had 3 goals on 11 shots and all 3 goals were rebounds and hustle putbacks. As the period went on you could see Tage Thompson start to get more aggressive, especially around the net. With 8:05 left he outmuscled Seth Jones for a rebound to get it past Soderblom to make it 3-2 Hawks.
Less than 5 minutes later with 3:13 left in the game he has a similar goal to tie it 3-3. In my preview I said that the Thompson - Jones matchup was going to determine this game. I believe that was accurate as the game was on the line and Thompson willed his team to tie it up and eventually win it in OT. The aforementioned loss came as Toews took a bad penalty and Chicago let another Oloffson rocket into the net early in OT to go home defeated.
Nine Blackhawks scored tonight, however Max Domi and Patrick Kane's point streaks both come to a close. The Hawks still pick up a point to move to 4-3-1 (9pts) on the season. Chicago has 3 straight home games beginning tomorrow against the Wild.