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NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Chicago

(Wednesday, January 14th)

Final Score: Chicago 4, Buffalo 1

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Jonathan Toews had a goal and an assist and Cristobal Huet made 22 saves, as the Chicago Blackhawks downed the Buffalo Sabres, 4-1, at United Center.

Patrick Sharp, Martin Havlat and James Wisniewski each scored once for Chicago, which has won two in a row following a two-game slide. Kris Versteeg had a pair of assists in the win for Chicago.

"It feels good to get back on the scoresheet," said Sharp, who hadn't had a point in the prior three games. "I've had confidence, the puck just wasn't going in. I knew it would be a matter of time."

Ales Kotalik scored the lone goal for Buffalo, which has lost two in a row after winning four straight to start 2009. The Sabres lost in part because of an ineffective power play unit that didn't capitalize on seven chances, including a six-minute stretch in the second period.

Patrick Lalime made 21 saves in the loss.

"We've got to do better than this," Lalime said. "We have to capitalize on our chances. We did slow down their offense, but it wasn't good enough."

Buffalo got the game's first goal, when Kotalik, situated in the slot, one- timed a pass from Adam Mair past Huet with 9:28 remaining in the opening period.

Chicago answered by scoring two goals in the first period to take the lead. Sharp shoveled in a loose puck on the left side with 4:24 remaining, and Toews' shot from the left of the crease looked to be stopped by Lalime -- but it fell off the netminder and bounced across the goal line, giving the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead with 1:55 left.

Chicago then took a 3-1 edge when Havlat ripped a high shot past Lalime on a 3-on-1 rush at the 5:53 mark of the middle period.

Shortly thereafter, the Sabres had a lengthy opportunity to get one of the goals back. Blackhawks feisty forward Ben Eager was dealt six minutes worth of penalties for roughing up Buffalo's Drew Stafford, after Stafford had sent Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith flying sideways on a hit moments earlier.

Buffalo only managed one shot on net during the advantage, and the Blackhawks maintained the two-goal lead going into the second intermission.

Wisniewski scored just 17 seconds into the third period to increase Chicago's lead to three, and Huet stopped the seven shots he faced in the frame to seal the Blackhawks win.

Game Notes

Chicago improved to 14-2-4 on home ice this season, and has won eight of the last nine at home...Buffalo's Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek each had his five- game point streak snapped...The Blackhawks snapped a three-game losing streak and four-game winless streak against the Sabres dating back to a 3-0 win on October 13, 2002...Chicago went 0-for-4 on the power play and Buffalo came up empty in seven chances.

01/14 23:51:44 ET

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