CHICAGO — Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat beat Carter Hutton during a perfect shootout, sending the Chicago Blackhawks to a 5-4 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.
Artem Anisimov scored twice for Chicago, which had dropped four of five. Duncan Keith and Brendan Perlini also scored, and Corey Crawford made 35 saves.
Toews converted Chicago’s first chance in the tiebreaker with a backhand. After Jack Eichel scored for Buffalo and Kane beat Hutton low on the glove side, Crawford stuffed Sam Reinhart before DeBrincat closed out the win with his successful try.
Each team had a prime scoring opportunity in overtime. Chicago’s Brandon Saad had a shot go off the right post, and Buffalo’s Zach Bogosian was denied by Crawford in front of the net.
Bogosian had a beautiful short-handed goal in the second period for Buffalo, which lost for the fifth time in six games. Vladimir Sobotka, Brandon Montour and Kyle Okposo also scored.
The Sabres were ahead 3-2 in the third when Anisimov banged a shot off the crossbar, kept skating and slammed it home for the tying score 4:48 into the period.
After Okposo finished a 2-on-1 break, scoring off a great pass by Evan Rodrigues, Chicago tied it once again. Perlini jumped on a deflected puck and beat Hutton low on the stick side for his eighth of the season at 7:57 — just 37 seconds after Okposo’s 11th goal.
Toews and Kane also had two assists apiece. Kane passed Steve Larmer to take over sole possession of fourth on the franchise’s career points list.
Looking to shake off a 1-2 West Coast trip, the Blackhawks found a way to open a 2-0 lead despite a so-so start. Keith converted a backhander from the slot and Anisimov beat Hutton on a breakaway after he got a slick touch pass from Dominik Kahun.
The Sabres responded with three goals in a 3 1/2-minute stretch in the second period. Sobotka kicked off the scoring spree with his fifth of the season, poking it in from the left side at 3:16. Montour then tied it at 2 when he sent a wrist shot from the high slot past Crawford on the stick side at 4:39.
Montour was sent off for tripping at 5:19, setting up Bogosian’s gorgeous tiebreaking goal. Bogosian skated by Crawford on the right side and looked as if he was going behind the net before deftly tapping it in on the short side for his third of the season.
NOTES: Blackhawks F David Kampf returned to the lineup after missing 12 games with a right foot injury. … Blackhawks F Dylan Strome celebrated his 22nd birthday.
Sabres: Visit the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.
Blackhawks: Visit the Dallas Stars on Saturday night.
Jay Cohen can be reached at https://twitter.com/jcohenap
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Jay Cohen, The Associated Press