The Chicago Blackhawks are a popular pick for Stanley Cup champions this season, like they were last year. The season opener against the Dallas Stars didn’t exactly go smoothly, coming down to a shootout, won by a single goal from Patrick Kane, while Corey Crawford was the main cause their first game didn’t start out with a loss.
The Blackhawks walk away with a 3-2 victory in Dallas to start the year with a win, as Kane beat Kari Lehtonen on Chicago’s second attempt in the shootout. His shot beat Lehtonen high on the glove side, while Crawford stopped attempts from Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky, the last two newcomers to the Stars. Crawford was also huge for the Blackhawks through the first two periods of the game.
All night long he was great, so we can be happy getting out of here with a win. But if it wasn’t for Corey, it’d be a different situation. We have to call the cops. We stole two points tonight. Certainly call that a goalie win.
It took Chicago two periods to start controlling the pace and the puck. The Stars outshot them 24-11 through two periods, scoring twice in the second period to take a 2-1 lead with goals from Trevor Daley and Cody Eakin. Duncan Keith opened the scoring in the game for the Blackhawks with a first period goal, but for the most part through the first 40 minutes on the ice, it was about Corey Crawford keeping the Blackhawks in the game.
Patrick Sharp, who else, scored the tying goal with a powerful long shot from the circle to beat Lehtonen, who was quite busy earlier in stopping Kane and Jonathan Toews. The final two minutes of regulation was about the Blackhawks struggling to get some sort of advantage from the penalty, which at some point left them in a 5-on-3 situation. Both teams didn’t really do anything in the extra period, with Chicago spending most the time with the puck in on Dallas’ end.
Sharp had a great time against the Stars last season with 10 points (including six goals) in five games against the Stars last season. It was the seventh consecutive win for the Blackhawks in Dallas, coming off losing in game 7 of the Western conference finals to the Los Angeles Kings who went on to win the Stanley Cup. It was the first time in three season openers against the Blackhawks that the Stars were on the losing side, dating back to their time in Minnesota.