The Blackhawks kicked off their 2015-16 regular season campaign Wednesday night against the New York Rangers, losing by a score of 3-2. They looked pretty good, but just couldn't make up for a tough starting period, and fell in this one.
New York kicked off the scoring just 1:43 into the season, as Oscar Lindberg was able to finish a nice feed on a rush and beat Corey Crawford over the shoulder. It took the Blackhawks about 14 minutes, but they were finally able to level it off when Patrick Kane set Artemi Panarin up with a nice feed, and the Russian rookie finished it off for his first NHL goal.
The Rangers didn't take long to respond, though, as Kevin Klein scored while the Rangers had an extra man for a delayed penalty to retake the lead. Derek Stepan later put home a puck in the crease with an empty net after Crawford got taken out of his crease by his defenseman.
The middle frame belonged to the Blackhawks. They came out firing and created a lot of quality scoring chances, and finally solved Henrik Lundqvist again when Jonathan Toews found Teuvo Teravainen in the high slot, and the phenom showed off his Finnish Cold side to notch his first goal of the year. The period would end with the Rangers up 3-2.
The third period saw a lot of back-and-forth play, with both teams creating good chances. Chicago created a lot of good chances, and Joel Quenneville started double-shifting Kane and Marian Hossa in an attempt to create more offense. They had some chances, but couldn't solve Lundqvist and found themselves passing a bit too much near the end of the third, and as such they lost this one.
All in all, this was a pretty good game for the Hawks. They looked pretty rough in the opening frame, and despite playing very well in the second and third periods, they just couldn't make up for that bad start. Hopefully this isn't the start of a trend.
It's a bitter end to a sweet opening of the night with the hanging of the 2015 Stanley Cup Champions banner, but there are still 81 games left to make up for this one.
The Blackhawks take the ice next on Friday night in Brooklyn, as they'll help the Islanders break hockey into the Barclays Center. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT.