The Blackhawks earned their fourth-straight win on Sunday night, defeating the Buffalo Sabres 4-1. After an October in which they played none, it was their third consecutive weekend of back-to-back games. Their record is 4-0-2 in back-to-back contests this year and their overall record for November is 6-1-2.
This November hot streak has the Blackhawks just two points behind Winnipeg for the final spot in the Central Division and just one point behind Vegas for the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference.
“It’s nice to get on a little bit of a run here,” Patrick Kane said. “I think it’s something we’ve been waiting for all season. We’ve played pretty well on these back-to-backs, so nice to put a little stretch together and feel good about our game. Obviously we’re getting production from all over the lineup right now and I think that’s key if you’re going to go on some winning stretches.”
In addition to Kane, it was rookie Kirby Dach who was especially productive last night.
Dach would open the scoring late in the first period with a backhand shot that deflected off the stick of Buffalo’s 2015 second-overall pick Jack Eichel. Dach began the rush with a nice back-check in his own end and gained position on Eichel by utilizing his speed through the neutral zone.
Dach’s speed would again prove problematic for Buffalo’s captain midway through the second period, with Dach capitalizing on yet another back-hander to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead.
“That’s my guy on that second goal, he scores,” Eichel said. “That’s really frustrating for me, obviously. I’ve got to have him there; there’s no other way to say it. He goes right by me.”
In addition to Dach extending a four-game point streak, Patrick Kane extended his own nine-game point streak with a power-play goal early in the third.
Hawks captain Jonathan Toews would seal the win, scoring his fourth goal of the year off of a nice feed from line-mate Brandon Saad.
Eichel would spoil Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford’s bid for a shutout by converting on a horrific turnover from defenseman Calvin De Haan midway through the third period.
Although the in-game shutout was lost, Crawford maintained his career-perfect record against Buffalo to 11-0-0 overall.
With four of the last six games remaining at home this month, the Blackhawks will have the opportunity to finish November the same way they began it.
The Hawks will have two incredibly important home-and-home series in a row against the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche to close out the month. Each team holds a two-point advantage and a four-point advantage over the Hawks, respectively; with Dallas currently owning the first wild-card spot in the West and Colorado holding the second playoff spot in the Central.