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Kane, Toews lift Blackhawks to 2-1 win over Sabres

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 9, 2014 at 10:47 pm •  Published: March 9, 2014

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — First, Patrick Kane gave his family and friends something to cheer about by scoring a highlight-reel goal in a rare trip home to Buffalo on Sunday night.

Then, Kane stuck around an hour after the Chicago Blackhawks' 2-1 victory over the Sabres, by posing for pictures and signing autographs in the stands.

As homecomings go, Kane's was nearly complete except that his beloved grandfather Donald Kane was not around to see it after passing away last month.

"No matter what, you're going to miss him," Kane said, following only his fourth NHL game at Buffalo. "But life goes on, and I think more importantly, I have a lot of family here at the game that came and supported me."

Coach Joel Quenneville saw a jump during a performance in which Kane snapped a five-game goal drought that began after his grandfather's death.

"I thought Kane was special," Quenneville said. "He was a threat and had the puck on his stick tonight: very dangerous and nice to see him play well here at home."

Kane opened the scoring 3:12 in, by capping a breath-taking rush. Bursting past defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, Kane snapped a shot through the legs of defenseman Chad Ruhwedel that beat goalie Jhonas Enroth over the left shoulder.

Kane nearly made it 2-1 with 8 minutes left in the second period, when he got in alone behind the Sabres' defense only to have his backhander stopped by Enroth. He also scored into an empty net, but a second after the final horn sounded.

Captain Jonathan Toews secured the win by scoring the go-ahead goal 1:34 into the third period.

Corey Crawford stopped 20 shots, and the Blackhawks (38-13-14) snapped a two-game road skid.

Drew Stafford scored for the league-worst Sabres (19-37-8), who had a three-game home winning streak snapped.

Stafford capped a nifty three-way passing play to tie the game midway through the first period. Tyler Ennis started it by finding trailing forward Cory Conacher driving up the left wing. Conacher drew Crawford from out of the net and slipped a pass into the crease where Stafford jammed it in after his first chance was blocked by Brent Seabrook.

The assist for Ennis made up for a goal he had disallowed a few minutes earlier, when he was called for hooking Crawford.

"I didn't think it was a penalty, and frustrated that I had the goal taken away," Ennis said. "But I don't think that was the turning point."

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