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NHL scores 2016: Streaks continue for Blackhawks, Sabres in Chicago's 3-1 victory

As Chicago rises, Buffalo falls and the status quo remains the same.

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

In sports, someone always has to lose. On Friday, the Buffalo Sabres had the chance to change the tide for not one, but two teams. Instead, the status quo remains in place after the Blackhawks beat the Sabres 3-1 on two late third-period goals.

Chicago forges on with their sixth straight win -- the second-longest active streak in the NHL now outside of the Panthers' 11-victory mark -- while the Sabres remain winless in 2016 with their sixth loss in a row. For the Blackhawks, the sixth win in a row has them on their best tear of the season. The Sabres? The defeat ties their season-long losing streak.

The two teams could not be more polar opposite than they are right now. The Blackhawks are getting superb goaltending from Corey Crawford, who was incidentally snubbed off of the All-Star rosters despite allowing just 10 goals in his last five games. On the other hand, the Sabres have allowed more than two goals four times in their recent losing stretch, with their worst coming against the hot Panthers on Tuesday night as Linus Ullmark allowed four goals on 26 shots.

While the scoreboard read 1-0 Chicago coming into the third period, Buffalo was barely hanging onto the one-goal deficit. Netminder Chad Johnson saved 42 shots in the loss, including 19 in the second period alone. The game was the Blackhawks to lose after allowing the Sabres back into it on Ryan O'Reilly's 17th goal of the year halfway through the third. Buffalo never really had a chance, however, with just six shots offered up in the final frame.

It was rookie Phillip Danault's first career NHL goal that unknotted the game for the Blackhawks and ultimately won the match for Chicago. Moments after O'Reilly's tally, Danault glided in from center ice to the faceoff dot with ease before lifting a wrister that beat Johnson top shelf.

For now, the state of affairs remains unchanged between the two teams. Better for Chicago, who are now second in the Central Division six points behind the leading Dallas Stars. Worse for the Sabres, who have fallen to one point above the last place Blue Jackets.


Boston Bruins 4, New Jersey Devils 1

Carolina Hurricanes 4, Columbus Blue Jackets 1

Chicago Blackhawks 3, Buffalo Sabres 1

Colorado Avalanche 5, Nashville Predators 3

Tampa Bay Lightning 3, Edmonton Oilers 2

Anaheim Ducks 4, St. Louis Blues 3 (SO)

3 things we learned

1. Ryan Johansen settled into Nashville quite comfortably

Mere minutes into his first game with the Predators after being traded from the Blue Jackets, Ryan Johansen made his presence known with his first goal for the city of Nashville. The Avalanche may have eventually wrestled control of the game away from the Predators in a 5-3 victory, but Johansen showed off exactly what he can bring to Nashville, and they didn't have to wait long for it.

2. Edmonton singlehandedly undid their two-goal lead on three own goals

Is this a record? Quite possibly. It's also the most Oilers thing to happen since winning the Connor McDavid lottery away from the Sabres. Victor Hedman also had a three-point night for the Lightning in Tampa Bay's comeback victory.

3. Jarome Iginla tied Jari Kurri's 601 goals for 18th-best in NHL history

A much better showcase of Iginla's skill set than his 600th, no?

Impact Moment

The NHL saw not one, but two big goalie scrambles Friday -- one from the Lightning and the other from the Predators. It wasn't just the goaltenders that got in on the action, Victor Hedman and Eric Nystrom were big parts of the sequences that saved surefire goals.

Rookie of the Night

Artemi Panarin has been on our radar for his spectacular offensive play and brilliant highlights. Now, he's tripping over imaginary sticks, or just falling over his own skates accidentally.

He's got good form though.

Stat of the Night

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