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game recap

Scott Darling propels Blackhawks to victory

Goalie makes 25 saves against Sabres; Chicago wins sixth straight road game

by Joe Yerdon / NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- Scott Darling made 25 saves, and Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist to lead the Chicago Blackhawks to their sixth straight road win, 5-1 against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center on Sunday.

Kane set up Artem Anisimov's 21st goal of the season 3:29 into the third period to give the Blackhawks a 4-1 lead before scoring his 20th at 6:36.

 

WATCH: All Blackhawks vs. Sabres highlights

 

"It's always fun to score in Buffalo," Kane, a Buffalo native, said. "I think sometimes, even in the first period or second period, you're thinking about maybe entertaining everyone that's here and you just kind of settle in and just play hockey. That seems to be when things happen the most. That was nice to get that one for sure."

Video: CHI@BUF: Kane lights the lamp off of Eichel's feed

Kane is the first United States-born player in NHL history to score 20 or more goals in each of his first 10 seasons, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

"He keeps getting better," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "Coming off an MVP season, he just seems like he can elevate his game with his strength, his quickness, the play-making, and him wanting the puck. He's got a nice thing going with [Artemi Panarin] and that line has been outstanding over the last year and change. You can only say great things about him because he's so special."

The Blackhawks (36-18-5) have won six of their past seven games. The Sabres (26-24-10) had their three-game winning streak end.

Marian Hossa gave Chicago a 2-1 lead 9:40 into the second period. After a pass from Marcus Kruger, Hossa skated in from the half-board and took a shot that beat Robin Lehner between the legs for his 21st goal. Kruger's assist was his 100th NHL point.

Jonathan Toews made it 3-1 at 15:26 when he put his own rebound past Lehner for his 12th goal. Toews has 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in the past 11 games.

Video: CHI@BUF: Toews crashes the net, buries a rebound

Ryan Hartman gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead at 13:34 of the first period. Hartman received a pass from Tanner Kero and took a shot that beat Lehner over his shoulder for his 14th goal. Lehner had 32 saves.

"I think that's one of my better ones," Hartman said. "We had a good screen in front. I haven't even seen the replay, but I don't think [Lehner] even saw it. I think he reacted to the sound of it hitting behind him."

Evander Kane made it 1-1 with his 21st goal of the season. Kane shot over Darling's shoulder after a backhand pass from behind the net by Jack Eichel with six seconds left in the first period.

 

Goal of the game

Hartman's goal was a hard shot that hit off the center bar inside the net.

Video: CHI@BUF: Hartman shows patience, picks the corner

 

Save of the game

Darling made a point-blank save on Nicholas Baptiste at the end of a Sabres power play at 9:32 of the first period.

Video: CHI@BUF: Darling robs Baptiste, keeps game scoreless

 

Highlight of the game

Kane's goal tied him with Denis Savard for fourth in Blackhawks history for the most 20-goal seasons.

Video: CHI@BUF: Kane makes several dekes to beat Lehner

 

Unsung performance of the game

Niklas Hjalmarsson led the Blackhawks in shorthanded ice time (4:54) and had five blocked shots. The Sabres went 0-for-4 on the power play.

 

They said it

"That's what you like to see. We had real good consistency. I thought that we progressed. [We] had a decent start, slowed down, had an ordinary start to the second, but after that last half we played extremely well and all the lines were doing the right things." -- Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville

 

"That's huge for our team. That seems to be when we're playing our best when we have that four-line rotation as we like to call it and every line's producing. It's huge for our team game. It's huge even for all the players as far as taking pressure off and not worrying about certain matchups and different things like that. I think we've been a team in the past where if we can get a lead, we can shut them down in the third and kind of build off some opportunities if they're trying to create too much." -- Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane

 

"We got beat by a good team and we got beat by one of the better teams. Yes, we've played a lot of games in the last 19 days and a lot in the last week here. It was a challenge and a measuring stick against a really good team. We came out on the wrong end of it." -- Sabres coach Dan Bylsma

 

Need to know

The Blackhawks have won 11 consecutive games against the Sabres (9-0-2) dating to Oct. 11, 2010. … Eichel has 18 points (five goals, 13 assists) in the past 18 games. … Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen extended his assist streak to five games. … Sabres forward Sam Reinhart missed his second straight game with an illness.

 

What's next

Blackhawks: At the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, FS-N, FS-WI, CSN-CH, NHL.TV)

Sabres: At the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; ALT, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Darling, Kane lead Blackhawks to 5-1 win over Sabres

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