CHICAGO (AP) — Corey Crawford made 28 saves to lead the Chicago Blackhawks to a 2-1 victory over the winless Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.
Ben Smith and Patrick Kane scored for the Blackhawks, who swept a pair of weekend home games, edging the Islanders 3-2 on Friday.
Drew Stafford connected with 8:11 left in the third, spoiling Crawford’s bid for a shutout. The Sabres (0-5-1) put together several tough challenges in the second and third periods despite being dominated earlier in the game and outshot 40-29.
Ryan Miller had 38 saves for Buffalo, which has been outscored 16-6 in its worst start since 1999-2000, when it was 0-5-2.
The Blackhawks outshot the Sabres 20-6 in the first period, but only had a 1-0 lead at intermission.
Chicago’s puck possession and territory dominance was aided by three power plays. But Smith’s even-strength tip-in for his first goal of the season at 9:26 was the only score.
Brent Seabrook wristed a shot from just inside the blue line at the top of the slot. Smith, one of four players parked in front of the net, then deflected the puck over Miller’s glove.
Despite continued pressure in the second period, the Blackhawks didn’t get their second goal until Kane’s power-play score with 24.9 seconds left.
Kane was open low in the right circle, and whipped Patrick Sharp’s cross-ice feed past Miller before he could slide across the crease.
Chicago had plenty of chances early on. A quick reaction by Buffalo defenseman Tyler Myers prevented what appeared to be a sure goal.
Miller got a piece of a close-in shot by Marian Hossa, but the puck continued toward the upper left corner of the net. Myers swatted the puck out of mid-air with his stick before it crossed the goal line.
The Sabres finally began to test Crawford in the second with a flurry and several prime chances, but he stopped them all. His best stop came on a point-blank attempt by Steve Ott with 6:50 left in the period.
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