After an amazing banner raising ceremony to celebrate the Stanley Cup, it was hard to get ready to play a game. However, the Blackhawks would get out of the game fast as Brandon Bollig scored at the 4:06 mark of the first period to open the season. But the Capitals would come back to tie the game when Alex Ovechkin tied the game with a power play goal at 10:42. But just 24 seconds later, Patrick Kane would fire a wicked wrist shot that beat Braden Holtby over his left shoulder to give the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead they would take into the locker room.
Midway through the second period, the Capitals would tie the game at 10:30 of the second period Mikhail Grabovski scored his first goal as a Capital. Yet again the Blackhawks would answer as Brent Seabrook pounded home a rebound off a Marian Hossa shot on the power play at 14:32 to give the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead after forty minutes.
As crazy as the first two periods were, the third would bring a flurry of action. Grabovski would tip home a Mike Green shot past Corey Crawford to tie the game on a power play goal just 59 seconds into the period. Then for the first time all game, the Capitals would take the lead as Grabovski tipped home another shot on the power play to complete the hat trick at 5:16. But the Blackhawks would respond as Brandon Saad and Michal Handzus executed a beautiful give and go that saw Saad tip a puck behind Holtby to tie the game at the 7:55 mark. Johnny Oduya blasted home a shot from the left circle that seemed to perplex Holtby who mishandled it at 13:53 to give the Blackhawks the lead for good. Hossa would add a goal at 19:22 when he was dragged down from behind by two Capitals players with an empty net which resulted in an automatic goal.
What it means
The Blackhawks improve to 1-0-0 to start the season as they attempt to get another strong start to the season. It is a good start for the defending Stanley Cup champions as they try to take advantage of eight games at home in the month of October.
3 stars of the game
3. Corey Crawford- Yes the stats aren’t going to look pretty as Crawford made 28 saves on 32 shots. But the penalty kill did him no favors as they allowed 3 goals on 6 opportunities. Crawford gets the third star as he made three to four huge saves with the Blackhawks trying to kill off a minute plus of a five on three power play.
2. Mikhail Grabovski- A hat trick in your first game as a Capital? Check. Grabovski had a strong start as he had an assist on the other goal as well. On the night, Grabovski won 7 of 15 faceoffs.
1. Brandon Saad- Saad had a strong game as he debuted on the third line. He scored the game tying goal and also had two assists including the primary assist on the game winner by Oduya. On the night, Saad was a plus two and had one takeaway as well.