|4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT, February 1, 2019
KeyBank Center, Buffalo, New York Attendance: 18,205
Blackhawks check momentum in visit to Buffalo
Chicago Blackhawks at Buffalo Sabres
- The Sabres defeated the Blackhawks on March 17 last season, 5-3, snapping a streak of 12 consecutive wins by the Hawks in the series. Chicago's 12-1-0 record against Buffalo since 2010-11 is its best against any single opponent in that span.
- The Blackhawks have won back-to-back games, converting three of their five power-play opportunities in those two games. They have scored on the power-play in nine consecutive games, third-longest streak in the NHL this season and longest by the Blackhawks since 2013-14 (10 straight).
- Since winning 10 straight games in November, Buffalo has gone 8-13-4 (.400) dating back to November 29. The only teams with worse records since then are the Red Wings (.385) and Avalanche (.360).
- Patrick Kane finished January with 21 points (7g, 14a), most in the NHL. He also had 21 points in December, the first time in his career he has tallied at least 20 points in back-to-back months.
- Jeff Skinner leads the Sabres with 31 goals this season and has 45 total points. The last Sabres skaters with at least 31 goals through 50 games of a season was Alexander Mogilny (47) and Pat LaFontaine (31) in the 1992-93 season.
- Chicago trailed, 2-1, in the second period against the Islanders before rallying back for a 3-2 shootout victory. It was only their seventh comeback win this season, tied for second fewest in hockey.
- Sens hire ex-Leafs asst. Smith as coach
- Isles sign C Nelson for 6 years, $36M
- Marchand avoids injury in scrimmage
- Arbitrator upholds Voynov's suspension
- Pens re-sign D Ruhwedel to 2-year deal
The Chicago Blackhawks hope their bye week and the All-Star break haven't dulled their recent momentum.
The Blackhawks, who won their final two games before the break to salvage a disappointing January, return to the ice Friday night at Buffalo.
Chicago defeated the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals 8-5 and eked out a 3-2 shootout victory against the New York Islanders, who had been riding a five-game winning streak, before its hiatus.
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane led the way in both games. Toews and Kane both scored in the shootout against the Islanders, after Toews had a goal in regulation and Kane had an assist to stretch his point streak to nine games.
Against Washington, Toews had three goals and two assists and Kane added two goals and three assists as the Blackhawks snapped a five-game skid. They won just once in their first eight games in January.
"Well, we got our confidence," Toews said after the New York game.
"We're relaxed. It's nice for us to be able to make a big difference for our team right now. For a long time it was almost not a great feeling."
The Blackhawks also scored a power-play goal for the ninth straight game.
"Guys are making a lot of plays. It's fun, fun to watch," Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said. "They're making great reads and just being clean with the puck."
The Sabres, who will open a franchise-record seven-game homestand, will be playing their third game since their break. They won 5-4 at Columbus on Tuesday night before suffering a 1-0 defeat Wednesday at Dallas.
"There are no moral victories at this point of the season. It's either you get two points or you don't at this point," Sabres forward Jack Eichel said after the Dallas loss. "We didn't get two points tonight so it's back to the drawing board. We've got a big game and a long homestretch we need to take advantage of."
The Sabres appeared to score the tying goal 4:28 into the third period Wednesday when Marco Scandella's shot from the left point went into the net. The goal was disallowed because a referee ruled Nathan Beaulieu interfered with Stars goaltender Ben Bishop.
The Sabres challenged the call, but a replay review upheld the decision.
"I was just driving the net," Beaulieu said. "On replay, it felt like I got pushed in, but it can go either way. I'm not going to argue. You can't overturn it now. You've just got to live with it."
Sabres coach Phil Housley defended his team's challenge.
"It could've gone either way. I knew the call on the ice was a no goal, but I thought it was a good time to challenge. Unfortunately, it didn't go our way," he said.
The Sabres, who are 14-6-3 at KeyBank Center this season, hope their lengthy homestand can put them back in playoff positioning. They are third in the race for the Eastern Conference's two wild-card berths.
"We've got a seven-game homestand," goaltender Linus Ullmark said. "We've just got to bring the pace, bring the tempo and bring out greatest effort into those games."
--Field Level Media
Updated January 31, 2019