Preview/Game Thread: Blackhawks vs Sabres


Buffalo Sabres (30–28–8) vs Chicago Blackhawks (27–30–9)

7:30pm CST
United Center


ChicagoCorey Crawford (7–15–2, SV%: .897, GAA: 3.39)
Buffalo Carter Hutton (16–18–4, SV%: .911, GAA: 2.82)


Power Play
Chicago (21.8%, 11th)
Buffalo (19.1%, 18th)

Penalty Kill
Chicago (72.8%, 31st)
Buffalo (82.5%, 5th)

Shorts for/against
Chicago (32.1, 14th; 35.0, 30th)
Buffalo (32.8, T7th; 32.8, 23rd)

Shooting %
Chicago (10.3%, 8th)
Buffalo (8.6%, 26th)

Faceoff %
Chicago (49.6%, T19th)
Buffalo (48.5%, T23rd)

Avg. height/weight
Chicago 6’1”, 195lbs
Buffalo 6’1” 198lbs


Chicago Blackhawks

Brandon SaadJonathan ToewsPatrick Kane

Alex DeBrincatDylan StromeDominik Kahun

Brendan PerliniArtem AnisimovDylan Sikura

Chris KunitzMarcus KrugerJohn Hayden

Duncan KeithBrent Seabrook

Gustav ForslingConnor Murphy

Slater KoekkoekErik Gustafsson

Buffalo Sabres

Jeff SkinnerJack EichelSam Reinhart

Conor ShearyEvan RodriguesKyle Okposo

Scott WilsonCasey MittelstadtJason Pominville

Zemgus GirgensonsJohan LarssonTage Thompson

Marco ScandellaRasmus Ristolainen

Rasmus DahlinZach Bogosian

Matt HunwickBrandon Montour


A pathetic showing on the west coast trip has found the Blackhawks barely hanging on to playoff hopes. Currently, according to a few outlets, the Blackhawks have less than a 1% chance of making the playoffs. Sure, there’s a chance, but it’s almost impossible that they make it into the dance.

That said, backup goaltender Cam Ward is out for 7-10 days, requiring Collin Delia to be recalled from the Rockford IceHogs. It is unclear if Delia will be any time in net, so expect to see a heavy dose of Corey Crawford for the length of Ward’s absence.

The Buffalo Sabres present quite a challenge for the Blackhawks on Thursday night at the United Center. The one-time Atlantic-leading Sabres have come screaming back down to Earth, losing eight of their last ten games. It’s unclear what went wrong, but the Sabres looked like they were finally turning the corner early this season. Now, Buffalo sits 11 points back of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The top players the Blackhawks need to watch out for on Thursday night are Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner, who have developed undeniable chemistry this season on Buffalo’s top line. Eichel has 72 points, while Skinner has 58 points and 36 goals for the year. These two can easily dominate the Blackhawks defense, so they will need to be matched-up with appropriately if the Blackhawks want a win on home ice.

Comment below in our live game thread tonight!

And look for the internet’s most robust recap of the game tomorrow morning on

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