Chad Johnson made a nice early save on Brandon Saad who looked to have the first goal at the back door. Johnson made a nice pad save going post to post quickly.
Benoit Pouliot opened the scoring late in the first. Rasmus Ristolainen pass was deflected and Pouliot had an open net to scoop the puck into for his 13th of the season. Both clubs put 12 shots on goal in the first.
The Blackhawks put the pressure on in the second. Patrick Kane made a great cross-ice pass on the backhand to Jordan Oesterle to tie the game at one.
Ryan O’Reilly gave the Sabres back the lead on the power play just under three minutes later. Jack Eichel’s rebound shot deflected behind JF Berube. O’Reilly outmuscled the Blackhawks defenders to power the puck into the net for his 20th of the season.
Before the period would end the Sabres got an unfortunate bounce. Tomas Jurco let a shot go from the faceoff dot that Johnson kicked away. However, the rebound bounced off the leg of Ristolainen and into the net for an own goal to tie it at two after 40 minutes.
The Blackhawks took their first lead of the game just 20 seconds into the third. Jonathan Toews picked up his own rebound on two on one with Saad.
Two minutes later the Sabres would respond again. This time Nick Baptiste deflected a Nathan Beaulieu shot by the Blackhawks goaltender to knot things back up at three.
Johnson and Berube both made some big saves down the stretch to keep their team ahead. The Sabres goaltender stoned Saad on a great chance and the Blackhawks goaltender countered with nice save on a deflection at the other end.
Eichel almost gave the Sabres lead but was hooked by Brent Seabrook as he got behind the defense.
On the ensuing power play, Marco Scandella let a shot go from the point and Baptiste was on the spot again to deflect the puck past Berube to give the Sabres the lead with under two minutes to play.
Buffalo held off the Blackhawks in the final two minutes and Reinhart added an empty-netter for good measure for the first win over the Blackhawks since 2009.
Final: Sabres 5, Blackhawks 3
Shots on Goal: Sabres 32 | Blackhawks 38
Sabres Goal Scorers: Pouliot (13), O’Reilly (20), Baptiste (3, 4) Reinhart (19)
Blackhawks Goal Scorers: Oesterle (5), Jurco (4) and Toews (20)
Three Stars of the Game
1. Nick Baptiste (2 G, GWG)
2. Sam Reinhart (1 G, 2 A)
3. Patrick Kane (2 A)
Comment of the Game
So happy for Bappers
The Amerks are obviously struggling right now… but they’re going to get a huge boost when mid-April finally arrives.