The Blackhawks finally kicked off their season today. After watching the Los Angeles Kings raise the banner they were finally able to get on the ice. Once they got on the ice the Blackhawks came out and defeated the defending Stanley Cup champions 5-2. The Hawks will not have much time to rest as they play Phoenix tomorrow night as part of their first back to back of the season.
The Hawks got off to a quick start on Saturday. After drawing two penalties the Hawks had a 5 on 3 powerplay for over a minute. After Marian Hossa kept the puck in the zone twice with spectacular plays the Hawks cashed in. Hossa found Patrick Kane for a one timer from a ridiculous angle that found its way in the net with a few seconds left on the 5 on 3. But they weren’t done. Hossa would find the net on a centering pass that deflected off a Kings defenseman and into the back of the net with about seven minutes left in the first period. The Hawks would strike 74 seconds later when Michael Frolik connected on a one timer from Marcus Kruger for a 3-0 lead.
The game was never in doubt for the Hawks as they would score 76 seconds into the second period when Jonathan Toews cleaned up a rebound for a 4-0 lead. Kane had a breakaway on Jonathan Quick who made a spectacular save. However he was turned around from his momentum and Toews slammed home the rebound. The Kings would get on the board late in the period when a floater from Rob Scuderi got past Corey Crawford. The game would get closer when the Kings scored on a James Nolan rebound nine minutes into the third period. But the Hawks would put the game out of reach 15 seconds later when Marian Hossa beat Quick with a wrist shot from 40 feet out. Crawford was solid in the victory with 19 saves on 21 shots.
What it means
The Hawks go to 1-0 in the compressed 48 game schedule and get off to a good start on the road considering 10 of their first 12 games are on the road. They will now have an opportunity to get two wins on the road before coming home on Tuesday. Stanley Cup champions are now 4-6-1 in their last 11 home openers.
3 stars of the game
3. Brent Seabrook- Seabrook didn’t show any rust considering he hasn’t played since the end of April. Seabrook had one assist and led all skaters on the Hawks with 23 minutes of ice time. He was a monster on the defensive side and had 7 blocked shots.
2. Patrick Kane- Kane picked up from where he left off. After playing in Switzerland during the lockout, Kane looked to be in a groove today. His one timer was remarkable and from a bad angle. Kane was his usual dangling self and controlled the pace of the game.
1. Marian Hossa- The last time Hawk fans saw Hossa he was being carried off on a stretcher after a dirty hit from Raffi Torres. Hossa struggled with a concussion for most of the offseason but you wouldn’t know it from the way he played today. Hossa had 2 goals and 1 assist in his first game back from injury. Today Hossa was the first star and showed that he is hungry to prove why he is one of the best two way forwards in the league.