Oct 11, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wingPatrick Kane
(88) during the red carpet event prior to a game against the Buffalo Sabres outside the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
The Blackhawks pre-game festivities for opening night were incredible and it set the stage for the first game of the year at the United Center for the Blackhawks
Well it didn’t take long for Chelsea Dagger to be heard at the United Center, after a Brandon Saad face-off win, Niklas Hjalmarsson shot it on goal from the blue line and Andrew Shaw tipped it in for a 1-0 lead in the first minute of the contest. It didn’t take long for an encore of the Dagger when Duncan Keith picked up the puck and fired one from deep that was deflected by a Sabre for a quick 2-0 lead and it looked like the expected route was on. Buffalo joined the contest Zemgus Girgensons tipped in a rebound to cut the lead in half.
The Blackhawks did have some unlucky moments during the period with Jonathan Toews and Ben Smith each hitting the goal post, but the play of the period was the rush by Marian Hossa that a lmost scored but led to a powerplay, but during that powerplay the Sabres scored a short-handed goal when Tyler Ennis got behind everyone and beat Crawford. The Hawks out shot the Sabres 17-10 and controlled most of the period but the game was tied at 2 after the first period.
The second period was not a big scoring period well there was exactly no goals in the period. The young Sabres seemed to find their legs in the second and although they didn’t dominate the period they sure made it way more competitive than many thought this game would be at the U.C. Corey Crawford had to be on his game in the second stopping two odd man breaks and a breakaway thanks in large part by the poor play of David Rundblad. Rundblad looked lost in the first two periods always doing the exact opposite of what he should be doing.
One bright side for the Hawks had to be the play of Daniel Carcillo who kept his nose clean playing hard hockey and he was able to draw two penalties through 2 periods. The Hawks have plenty of chances with the man advantage but it also seems to lead to odd man breaks for the Sabres. All Tied going to the 3rd period, exactly like everyone thought it would be!
This game wasn’t suppose to be close and yet it was when the puck dropped for the third period. Andrew Shaw decided to help turn the tide back to the Hawks and played a scrappy shift and fed it to Kane who one-timed it to the back of the net and the Hawks were finally back in front. The Hawks were on the Penalty Kill when the puck ended up on Marian Hossa‘s stick and he skated down on a 2 on 1 with Jonathan Toews and buried it for a 4-2 Hawks lead. The Hawks picked up another powerplay and Patrick Sharp scored the third goal of the night from around the blue line for the Hawks and a 5-2 lead.
Just for fun Carcillo scored on a nice give and go goal from Brandon Saad and the Hawks got to hear Chelsea Dagger play for the 6th time of the opening night of the season. Crawford picked up his 2nd win of the season while seeing only 4 shots on goal in the third period but he was strong in the 2nd when the game was still in doubt. 6-2 win for the Hawks and a 2-0 start to the season.
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– Blackhawks are off now until Wednesday night when the Calgary Flames visit the United Center
-Marian Hossa was Awesome all night long and was the #1 star
– If there was a 4th star it had to be Brandon Saad who had his first career 3 assist night
– Watching the puck possession with Kane and Saad on the ice is something that I hope lasts for a long long time!