After the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2010, they opened their championship defense 1-2-1 in their first four games.
After the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in 2013, they opened their championship defense losing two of their first three games.
With a 4-1 loss in Washington in the books, the Hawks are now 2-3-0 to open their third title defense of the decade.
Scott Darling got the call on Thursday night and stopped 20 of 24, suffering his first loss of the season. He didn’t get much (read: any) help from the skaters in front of him, however.
Viktor Svedberg’s first career NHL goal – coincidentally on the day the Hawks announced a one-year deal with veteran Kyle Cumiskey – was the total of the Blackhawks offense in their last 120 minutes of hockey.
Chicago put 27 shots on net in the game, 17 of which came in the second period. They only had one power play opportunity, and allowed a power play goal to former St. Louis Blues forward TJ Oshie while short-handed in the first period. When John Carlson scored his first of the year in the second period, the game was effectively over.
Matt Niskanen put Washington up 3-0 early in the third, but Svedberg scored only 71 seconds later.
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane put two shots on goal – combined. Teuvo Teravainen led Chicago with four shots on net, but didn’t take a single faceoff and was minus-two in the game. Kyle Baun, who replaced Ryan Garbutt in the lineup, was the only skater with less ice time (6:00) than Teravainen (9:29). Andrew Shaw, who actually played a decent game, returned to taking faceoffs and won four of seven while leading the Hawks with three hits (Toews was also credited with three hits).
Niklas Hjalmarsson was credited with five of Chicago’s 16 blocked shots in the game.
Bryan Bickell had one hit and one shot on net in 18 shifts.
If there’s one positive Hawks fans can look forward to, it’s that the NHL’s current dumpster fire – the Columbus Blue Jackets – bring Brandon Saad back to the United Center on Saturday night. The Jackets are still winless through four games, and have been outscored 20-9 in those four contests. Columbus also hosts Toronto on Friday night.