Buffalo native Patrick Kane leads the Chicago Blackhawks into his hometown to face the Sabres on St. Patrick’s Day. Here’s everything you need to know to watch.
The Buffalo Sabres and Chicago Blackhawks have both had disappointing seasons. The Sabres were expected to be better under new general manager Jason Botterill and head coach Phil Housley. However, Buffalo again sits at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings. The Blackhawks were again expected to contend for the Stanley Cup but will miss the playoffs for the first time since the 2007-08 season.
The Sabres lost their last game 5-2 at home against division rival Toronto. Over their last 10 games, Buffalo has gone 5-4-1 and has long since been eliminated from the playoffs. Buffalo could be getting Jack Eichel back in the lineup for Saturday’s game. Eichel returned to practice this week for the first time since suffering a high ankle sprain. The return of Eichel immediately helps the team’s offense.
No NHL team has scored fewer goals than the Sabres’ 167 goals and 2.39 per game. Defensively, Buffalo has struggled, giving regular minutes to AHL caliber defensemen. However, former second-round pick Brendan Guhle has been a bright spot since being called up on March 5.
Chicago is 4-6 in their last 10 games after losing 6-2 to Winnipeg on Thursday night. The Blackhawks’ season might have turned out differently had Corey Crawford not suffered a season-ending injury in December. Without Crawford, Chicago has turned to Anton Forsberg, Jeff Glass and Jean-Francois Berube, who have all provided the Blackhawks with below average play in net. Saturday’s game will be a homecoming for Blackhawks superstar Patrick Kane. Despite having a down season by his high standards, Kane has 25 goals and 67 points this season.
Buffalo Sabres vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Date: Saturday, March 17
Location: Key Bank Center, Buffalo
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
TV: NHLN-US, MSG-B, WGN
Live Stream: Fubo.TV
The Blackhawks won the first game against the Sabres 3-2, with Gustav Forsling scoring the overtime winner with five seconds remaining.