It took 65 minutes and three shots for the Blackhawks to emerge victorious in Dallas to open the 2014-15 season.
In the game’s first 50 minutes, the only player of consequence for the Blackhawks was Corey Crawford.
Chicago led 1-0 after the first period in spite of being outshot and outplayed. Duncan Keith scored the Hawks’ first goal of the new season with 44 seconds remaining in the opening frame.
Crawford successfully stopped 14 of 16 shots in the second period, but the Hawks were trailing 2-1 to open the third. Trevor Daley and Cody Eakin scored less than five minutes apart to give the Stars a lead.
But in the third, the Hawks turned their intensity up. After being outshot 24-11 in the first two periods, Chicago outshot the Stars 14-9 in the third. Patrick Sharp scored a power play goal at 11:10 to tie the game and close the books on the scoring until the shootout.
Patrick Kane won the game with a filthy move to beat Kari Lehtonen, who stopped 24 of 26 in the game. Crawford made 32 saves to earn the victory.
Keith led the Hawks with 29:40 in the game, recording one goal, one assist, three blocked shots and one takeaway. Brent Seabrook skated 23:50 and led the team with five blocked shots.
Both Niklas Hjalmarsson and Johnny Oduya both skated over 25 minutes, and rookie Trevor vanRiemsdyk skated 11:43 in his NHL debut. vanRiemsdyk didn’t get off the bench much in the first period, but appeared more comfortable as the game went on.
Sharp and Kane combined to put 11 of the Hawks’ 24 shots on net. Only one other Blackhawks had more than two shots on net: Brad Richards.
Richards started the game on the third line and didn’t see much ice time in the second period. When coach Joel Quenneville mixed up his lines in the third period, Richards saw a number of shifts with Marian Hossa and Sharp; Kane skated with Jonathan Toews. In his Blackhawks debut, Richards won seven of his 14 faceoffs in 14:38 and was credited with three shots on net.
David Rundblad dressed for the game but barely got on the ice. He skated only 6:25, and had a good opportunity to shoot during his one overtime shift but refused to pull the trigger.
Dan Carcillo skated eight shifts (4:43). Jeremy Morin skated 11 shifts (5:32).
Special teams played more of a role than the Hawks would have liked. Chicago killed five of six penalties in the game, and were able to convert one of five power plays. After an underwhelming preseason, the power play looked a lot better and Quenneville said he liked what he saw on the PP after the game.
Quenneville also admitted the Hawks stole two points, and referred to Thursday night as a “goalie win.”
Crawford bought his teammates 50 minutes to get their act together and they responded with a big road victory. The Hawks return home to open their home schedule against Buffalo on Saturday night.