RECAP: Blackhawks drop fourth straight, fall to Sabres 3–2


The Chicago Blackhawks returned home after falling to the Nashville Predators yesterday in a matinee game. Tonight’s opponent was the Buffalo Sabres. Both teams came into tonight’s game on three-game losing streaks. In terms of the lineup, the Blackhawks rolled out the same guys from yesterday with Petr Mrazek net on Hockey Fights Cancer Night at the United Center.

The biggest change to the lineup was Lukas Reichel playing on the top line with Connor Bedard and Philipp Kurashev. With Reichel scuffling, the coaching staff is hoping playing with Bedard and Kursahev can get the young forward going. Karashev entered tonight’s game on a bit of a hot streak with two points in his last two games.

First period

In the first period, the Sabres were pressuring the Hawks in their own zone. After making a brilliant save on Zach Benson, Mrazek was bested by Rasmus Dahlin on the next sequence, as Dahlin’s shot came from the point and went past Mrazek. Mrazek was screened by his own teammate Wyatt Kaiser on the goal.

Despite dominating the offensive zone time, the Hawks trailed the Sabres 1–0 after the first period.

Second period

In the second period, the Hawks started it with good offensive pressure but came up empty. The Hawks got an early-period power play opportunity and were able to score the equalizer right as the power play expired. Kurashev made a move around the net and fed a pass to Taylor Raddysh, who deflected the shot past Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen for the goal.

At the 10:00 mark, Kevin Korchinski tripped Zach Benson to give Buffalo a power play chance. The Sabres netted a goal from Jeff Skinner, who tapped one in on the back side past Mrazek. The Sabres led 2–1 after the goal.

Korchinski was called for his second penalty of the period with just under seven minutes left in the period. Reese Johnson nearly tied the game shorthanded with a breakaway chance.

With three minutes to go in the period, Bedard had space entering the Sabres’ zone. Bedard snapped off a shot that was saved by Luukkonen, but the rebound went to Kurashev, who buried the chance to tie the game at 2–2.

The second period ended with the score tied.

Third period

The third period began with the Hawks weathering a Buffalo offensive push and then responding with an offensive push of their own. Reichel drew a penalty with under three minutes passed in the period. The Hawks got off a good chance, but did not cash in the opportunity.

After the Hawks dominated the start of the period, Buffalo’s Erik Johnson flicked a bad angle shot past Mrazek for the Sabres’ third goal of the game.

The Hawks mounted a valiant comeback attempt with less than two minutes remaining, peppering the net with shots, but were unable to tie the game, falling 3–2.


The Reichel-Bedard-Kurashev line is very weak from a defensive standpoint and very dynamic from an offensive standpoint. Their play, along with Seth Jones, produced some of the best offensive shifts of the game for the Hawks. On the night, Kurashev had one goal and one assist. He now has 10 points in 10 games and looks to be on the verge of breaking out this season.

On defense, Korchinski continues to have a rough go of it this season. He committed two penalties in the second period and still takes too long making decisions with the puck.

The Hawks continue to battle despite being down and outmatched in the game. This is the mark of the Luke Richardson era. The Hawks are going to be in more games than not because of their effort, but a lack of talent will make wins tough to come by.

The Blackhawks’ next game is Wednesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Puck drop is slated for 6 p.m. CST.

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