It didn’t start pretty, but the final result is all that matters in hockey. And, after two home games, the Blackhawks have four points at the United Center.
After 7:29 in the first period, Winnipeg’s Jim Slater had two goals and Joel Quenneville had burned his timeout. The Hawks were chasing two, and only Daniel Carcillo looked like he was excited to be on the ice.
But whatever Quenneville said (most of which is probably NSFW), it worked.
Andrew Brunette pulled the Hawks within one less than two minutes after Slater’s second tally, a power play putback that could prove to become a trend this season. Brunette’s net presence has been outstanding on the power play early this year.
With just over three minutes left in the opening period, Kane’s wicked one-timer tied the game. Carcillo, who was a pest all night, created a neutral zone turnover and Marian Hossa made a special play against the boards to skate through a check. His gorgeous pass across the ice to Kane set up a great opportunity that Kane finished with style.
It took less than seven minutes in the second period for the Hawks to put two more goals on the board. Hossa and Dave Bolland scored, and the shaky start by the defensemen and Ray Emery was now buried.
Kyle Wellwood added a late second period goal, and the two teams skated a fairly boring, back-and-forth third period that didn’t show much emotion until the final few minutes. When the dust settled, Emery had his first win as a member of the Blackhawks and the Hawks were undefeated at home (still).
Kane had a “Kane night,” scoring a goal and adding two assists. He continues to quiet his doubters at center as well; he won 10 of 14 faceoffs in the victory and was credited with three takeaways. He was also credited with a hit, which was on former teammate Dustin Byfuglien.
Yes. Kane hit Byfuglien. Digest that for a moment.
Bolland continues to be an absolute beast. He won 12 of 20 faceoffs and scored his team-leading third goal of the young season.
Carcillo was the most noticeable player on the ice all night. He was (somehow) credited with (only) four hits on the night, but the naked eye would have credited him with three on his opening shift in a Hawks sweater.
When the starting lineups were introduced, Andrew Ladd received a nice ovation from the United Center crowd.