Casey Mittelstadt scored 2:07 into overtime to give the Buffalo Sabres a 3-2 victory over the visiting Chicago Blackhawks in the regular-season finale for both teams on Friday night.
Mittelstadt backhanded in a rebound of a Dylan Cozens shot over the left pad of Chicago goaltender Collin Delia for his sixth goal of the season.
Owen Power and Tage Thompson also scored goals and Dustin Tokarski finished with 19 saves for Buffalo (32-39-11, 75 points) which won for the fifth time in its last six games and finished fifth in the Atlantic Division.
Dylan Strome and Dominik Kubalik scored for Chicago (28-42-12, 68 points) which had a three-game win streak snapped and finished seventh in the Central Division. Delia made 33 saves.
Chicago took a 1-0 lead at the 8:47 mark of the second period. Alex Vlasic skated around the left back boards and then passed to Kubalik alone in the slot. Kubalik then one-timed a shot into the top right corner for his 15th goal of the season. It was also the first assist of Vlasic’s NHL career.
Thompson tied it, 1-1, at the 4:16 mark of the third period with his 38th goal of the season. Jeff Skinner set up the score with a cross-ice pass to Thompson at the bottom of the left circle where he fired a wrist shot under the crossbar.
Strome then put Chicago back in front when he redirected Caleb Jones’ pass from the right circle past Tokarski’s blocker side for his 22nd goal.
Power, the first pick of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, tied it, 2-2, with 5:38 remaining when he fired a wrist shot from above the circles through traffic and Delia’s pads for his second goal of the season and setting the stage for overtime.
The game was the final one for longtime Buffalo play-by-play announcer Rick Jeanneret, who is retiring after 51 seasons. Jeanneret, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame who had a banner in his honor hoisted into the rafters at KeyBank Center earlier this season, broadcast his first game on Oct. 10, 1971.
–Field Level Media