Blackhawks

Timeout turns game in favor of Kane, Hawks

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Timeout turns game in favor of Kane, Hawks

Maybe it was missing those first two regular-season games. Or maybe it's because that's just his game all the time.

Whatever the reason, Daniel Carcillo came out flying -- and hitting. And with Carcillo doing his part, linemates Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa were freed up to do theirs.

Kane scored a goal and two assists and Hossa had a goal and an assist in his 900th career game as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-3 at the United Center on Thursday night. Carcillo, who played in his first game with the Blackhawks after serving a suspension the first two, took his pent-up energy out on the Jets early. He was all over the ice, throwing his body at whoever he could.

For Carcillo, it's all part of the job. At least part of his job.

"That's my game: playing the body, getting fans into it early and getting the team into it early," said Carcillo, who also walked away from a potential scrap with Winnipeg defenseman Mark Stuart. "I usually wouldn't walk away from that. But after a minute, 20 (seconds) on the ice I'm not going to engage on the fight."

Coach Joel Quenneville liked the energy and offense that line generated.

"Danny's first shift in a Blackhawk uniform was very noticeable. He started that line in a positive way," he said. "I thought they had several high-quality shifts and the production to back it up. Everyone on that line had outstanding games."

The Blackhawks weren't looking too stellar early, though. Jim Slater scored two quick deflected goals on backup goaltender Ray Emery, putting the Blackhawks down 2-0 less than eight minutes into the game. But after one much-needed time out following Slater's second, the Blackhawks went on a four-goal run sparked by Andrew Brunette's power-play goal -- his second of this young season.

Dave Bolland also scored and goaltender Emery got his first victory as a Blackhawk.

But the night belonged to Kane, Hossa and Carcillo, who also garnered his first Blackhawks assist. The line was the right mix of venom and velocity; Carcillo opened the space Quenneville wanted him to and it led to success.

"Danny did a great job creating lots of room for us. Me and Patrick just tried to get open," Hossa said.

For a first-time run, the Carcillo-Kane-Hossa line was a success. Carcillo provided the jump. Kane and Hossa provided the rest.

"Its good, especially when you add a guy like Carcillo who likes to get pucks back to us and bang his body around and we can move it around the offensive zone," Kane said. "You see his antics before and after the whistle, which is a good thing when youre playing with him, but he draws a lot of attention and opens up some space for us."

Emery's debut

Ray Emery got the victory in his regular-season Blackhawks debut, stopping 27 of 30 shots. Emery had faced all kinds of odd and deflected goals in preseason, and faced two more to start the game on Thursday. But Emery, who was out with the flu on Wednesday, got stronger as the game continued.

"He was rock solid in the third and it was a great test to see how he responded to some dangerous opportunities," Quenneville said.

Emery stopped all 11 shots he faced in the third period, his best thus far.

"I was actually getting a little tired (in the third) after that (flu) bug yesterday," Emery said with a laugh. "I just tried to stay in the middle of the net and make plays."

Four takeaways: Blackhawks suffer first regulation loss, but Corey Crawford looks sharp in season debut

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USA TODAY

Four takeaways: Blackhawks suffer first regulation loss, but Corey Crawford looks sharp in season debut

Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 4-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes at the United Center on Thursday:

1. Return of the Crow

The Blackhawks got their man back between the pipes after a 10-month layoff due to a concussion. And he looked like same old "Crow."

Crawford stopped 27 of 30 shots for a save percentage of .900. He faced 12 shots and eight scoring chances in the first period, but nothing too out of the ordinary. The biggest save he made was on a Michael Grabner breakaway in the third period, bailing out a turnover in the neutral zone.

"I think I felt better in the second and third," Crawford said. "But they really didn’t get that many opportunities early. It was nice. I think they flipped one in for the first one, so that was kind of good just to get in it and feel one early. We were close in that one all game and we created a lot. I thought [Antti] Raanta played really well.

"It was a tough, tough break at the end. Still felt I should have stopped that one. We were right there, we were creating a lot and gotta try to come up with that one. Just gotta forget about it and worry about the next game."

2. Alex DeBrincat, Jonathan Toews extend point streaks

The hot start continues for the Blackhawks' two leading scorers, both of whom assisted on Erik Gustafsson's goal in the second period to stretch their point streaks to six games. DeBrincat and Toews each have 10 points this season.

3. Overtime streak ends

The Blackhawks made history by forcing five straight overtime games to start the season, something no team has ever done in the four major sports (NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB). But they didn't have the comeback magic in them this time.

Entering Thursday, the Blackhawks were 1-0-1 when trailing after two periods. They were 5-28-2 last season for a win percentage of .143.

4. Familiar faces, new places

Five former Blackhawks took the ice for the Coyotes: Vinnie Hinostroza, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Jordan Oesterle, Richard Panik and Antti Raanta.

It was Hjalmarsson's first trip back to Chicago since being traded in the 2017 offseason. He received a nice video tribute during the second TV timeout of the first period, which made him very emotional.

"I almost got emotional too seeing his reaction," Toews said. "He's one of those guys you'll never forget what he meant to this locker room. He was a quiet guy in the room but we all know how he played and put everyone else before himself. Pretty cool reaction from the fans too. I think we were all sad to see him leave this locker room, he did a lot of special things and was a massive part of our championship wins. Happy for him to get that reception. It's well-deserved and obviously we miss having him around."

As far as the game, Hjalmarsson logged a team-high 22:18 of ice time and blocked three shots. Oesterle registered a secondary assist on Arizona's first goal, which was its first 5-on-5 of the season.

Hinostroza, who was also part of the Marian Hossa trade over the summer, scored twice in his return to his hometown, beating Crawford with a wrist shot to make it 2-1 in the second period and an empty-netter in the third; his second goal turned out to be the game winner, the fourth of his career and first as a member of the Coyotes.

Panik recorded four shot attempts (three on goal). And Raanta improved to 16-0-3 in his career at the United Center, a remarkable record for any goaltender in any situation.

Niklas Hjalmarsson gets standing ovation from United Center crowd in Chicago return

Niklas Hjalmarsson gets standing ovation from United Center crowd in Chicago return

Niklas Hjalmarsson played for the Blackhawks for 10 years and won three Stanley Cups with the team so his return to the United Center was a big deal.

The defenseman, now with the Arizona Coyotes, made his return to Chicago in Thursday's game. The Blackhawks had a tribute video for him during the game and the crowd gave him a standing ovation after the video.

He was teary-eyed after getting the warm reception.

Hjalmarsson was traded by the Blackhawks to the Coyotes for Connor Murphy and Laurent Dauphin after the 2016-17 season. He played against the Blackhawks on Oct. 21 and again on Feb. 12 last season, but both games were in Arizona.

Injuries limited Hjalmarsson to 48 games last season and he missed Arizona's only trip to the United Center last season, which came in December.

Watch the video above to see Hjalmarsson's tribute and reaction.