for this game

Vanek upstages Kane's homecoming in Sabres' win

Dec 16, 2007 - 5:04 AM
By Dave Whalen PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BUFFALO, New York (Ticker) -- The Buffalo Sabres allowed a goal on the game's first shot to a hometown hero, then sent the fans home happy when they allowed nothing further.

Thomas Vanek had a goal and an assist to spoil the return of native son Patrick Kane, helping the Sabres post a 3-1 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.

Kane, the first overall pick in the 2007 NHL draft by the Blackhawks, was born and raised in Buffalo.

The Sabres recognized his homecoming by having his father and grandfather drop the ceremonial first puck along with Sabres defenseman Brian Campbell's dad after a brief video presentation recognizing hockey parents' commitment, which was followed by a standing ovation.

"It's good for the city of Buffalo, local kid making it big and doing well for himself," Sabres center Derek Roy said. "I'm sure they're proud of him. Good to see, a nice gesture by the team."

Patrick Sharp helped get Chicago on the board when he made a nifty no-look pass to Kane from behind the net. Kane, who was mired in a 13-game goalless drought, one-timed the puck by goaltender Ryan Miller at 2:35 of the first period for an early 1-0 advantage.

"It was a fun day," Kane said. "It was nice to get that goal out of the way, too. Even coming out for the third star (of the game) was a good ovation. The support in Buffalo has been there along, and it's finally nice to see it."

"He was awesome," Chicago coach Denis Savard said. "He doesn't get rattled by anything. He played probably as good as he played in quote a while here. Good effort from him."

Kane was happy to finally end his scoreless run.

"Thirteen games - it's probably double what I've done my whole life - (going) without a goal," he said. "It was nice to finally put one in. Hopefully, I'll continue here."

The Sabres were able to solve Chicago's strong road penalty-killing unit on their third attempt when Vanek - parked in the slot - one-timed a pass from Roy that went under netminder Nikolai Khabibulin's right arm at 2:52 of the second to knot the game at 1-1.

The Blackhawks entered the contest with the league's best penalty-killing unit away from home, having allowed only five goals in 63 chances.

Buffalo grabbed a 2-1 lead when Drew Stafford connected for his seventh of the season at 10:18 of the session. After steady pressure, Stafford spun around and fired a shot that got through a crowd and past Khabibulin on the far side.

Jason Pominville iced the game with 47 seconds remaining in the third, when he took advantage of a poor pass in Chicago's zone and broke free from defenders to wrist the puck into an empty net.

Roy assisted on each of the first two tallies for Buffalo, which concluded a brutal stretch of four games in six days.

"We had a long stretch of games there and we just wanted to keep it simple, get a couple of goals, maybe not play the open game that we usually play," Roy said. "A lot of guys are tired here. Our guys did a smart job in the third period."

Kane had two opportunities to tie the game in the second period but was denied both times by Miller, who made 26 saves in posting his third straight win.

"Some people got their wish (seeing Kane score)," Miller said. "He's got something to remember this by, but I thought it was a good effort by us to win a close game. We've got to prove we can win some of these close ones. I'm happy with the effort from the guys."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 1 0 0 1
    BUFFALO 0 2 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - PATRICK KANE 8 (PATRICK SHARP, JONATHAN TOEWS) 2:35
    2ND PRD: BUF - (PP) THOMAS VANEK 10 (DEREK ROY, MAXIM AFINOGENOV)
    2:52
    BUF - DREW STAFFORD 7 (THOMAS VANEK, DEREK ROY) 10:18
    3RD PRD: BUF - (EN) JASON POMINVI

    Dec 15 9:30 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 1
    BUFFALO 3
    3RD PRD: BUF - (EN) JASON POMINVILLE 8 (TIM CONNOLLY, TONI LYDMAN)
    19:13

    Blackhawks vs. SabresDec 15 9:29 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 1 0 1
    BUFFALO 0 2 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - PATRICK KANE 8 (PATRICK SHARP, JONATHAN TOEWS) 2:35
    2ND PRD: BUF - (PP) THOMAS VANEK 10 (DEREK ROY, MAXIM AFINOGENOV)
    2:52
    BUF - DREW STAFFORD 7 (THOMAS VANEK, DEREK ROY) 10:18
    SHOTS ON GOAL:

    Dec 15 8:38 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 1
    BUFFALO 2
    2ND PRD: BUF - DREW STAFFORD 7 (THOMAS VANEK, DEREK ROY) 10:18

    Blackhawks vs. SabresDec 15 8:23 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 1
    BUFFALO 1
    2ND PRD: BUF - (PP) THOMAS VANEK 10 (DEREK ROY, MAXIM AFINOGENOV) 2:52

    Blackhawks vs. SabresDec 15 8:10 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHICAGO 1 1
    BUFFALO 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CHI - PATRICK KANE 8 (PATRICK SHARP, JONATHAN TOEWS) 2:35
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CHI 7 7
    BUF 10 10
    GOALIES: CHI - NIKOLAI KHABIBU

    Dec 15 7:46 PM


  • NHL
    CHICAGO 1
    BUFFALO 0
    1ST PRD: CHI - PATRICK KANE 8 (PATRICK SHARP, JONATHAN TOEWS) 2:35

    Blackhawks vs. SabresDec 15 7:16 PM
  • 10
    roots
    hannydawg Added 5 roots

    Blackhawks vs. SabresDec 15 6:15 PM
  • 5
    roots
    bouch Added 5 roots

    Blackhawks vs. SabresDec 15 5:54 PM