Blackhawks vs. Stars: 3 stars of the game
Who shined in the Blackhawks' Opening Night thriller against the division rival Dallas Stars? Let's take a look.
The Chicago Blackhawks didn't play the prettiest of games in opening their season against the Dallas Stars, but I'll be damned if they didn't give us some fun hockey to watch. Who cares if three periods and an overtime of back and forth was ruined by a shootout? This is the world we live in.
A pair of teams with a ton of speed, and no shortage of offensive weapons, Thursday night's tilt set the stage for what should be a great season series. God forbid these two teams face each other in the postseason. We'll all be dead. Regardless of the excitement, there are plenty of areas we'll need to see the Hawks shore up as the season wears on. Of course, that's to be expected. At the same time, there was plenty to be very pleased with in watching the Blackhawks first meaningful action of the 2014-15 season.
Let's take a look at our three stars.
3. Patrick Kane
Patrick Kane had a quiet night overall, despite the fact that he did add an assist on the Patrick Sharp goal in the third period. There were a couple of chances, including a brilliant one in the first period off a feed from Niklas Hjalmarsson in which he broke his stick on what would have been an open net. But he did lead the team in relative Corsi and was second to Patrick Sharp in Corsi%. Oh yeah, he also did this:
2. Patrick Sharp
Definitely a lot to like from Patrick Sharp in the season opener. He scored the power play goal that evened things up late in the third period, while also adding another point earlier in the game on an assist on the Duncan Keith goal. His two points helped him to finish a plus-1 for the night. He led the team in Fenwick and was third in relative Corsi. He fired off six shots in almost 20 minutes of ice time. A solid start for everyone's favorite handsome Blackhawk.
1. Corey Crawford
Without Crawford playing at the level at which he was, the Hawks don't come away with a point at all in this one, let alone a pair. Craw looked like his playoff version that we haven't seen consistently in the regular season, bailing his team out shift after shift. He finished with 32 saves overall on 34 shots, stymieing the Stars on multiple chances in which they had an odd-man rush. He went on to hold the Stars scoreless in the shootout as well. He looked like the goaltender that the Blackhawks handed a large bag of money to in order to steal games like this, and did just that.
Next up, the Blackhawks will head to the United Center for their home opener against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night.
***Statistics via NHL.com
***Fenwick/Corsi numbers via war-on-ice.com
Randy Holt is a staff writer for Second City Hockey. You can follow him on Twitter @RandallPnkFloyd.