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Perfect 10: Blackhawks crush Penguins

Chicago exploded for five goals in the first period and never looked back, finishing in double digits on the night in a 10-1 demolition of the Penguins.

This hasn’t been a good start to the season for the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Yes, it’s only been two games. No need to panic. The Pittsburgh Penguins managed a third-period comeback to force overtime versus the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday, before losing in the extra period.

But what occurred Thursday on the road versus the Chicago Blackhawks?

This was a disaster.

The night after raising a Stanley Cup banner to the rafters, the Penguins were thoroughly crushed 10-1 in Chicago. Yes, 10-1.

The Blackhawks had already posted four goals on Pittsburgh before the midway point of the first period, chasing Antti Niemi from the game and forcing last night’s starter Matt Murray back into action. By the end of the second period, Chicago had put an eight-spot on the board and wasn’t done there, as a number of players racked up hefty point totals.

-- Brandon Saad recorded the hat trick.

-- Ryan Hartman had a goal and five points.

-- Patrick Kane had a goal and four points.

You get the idea. In fact, only four Chicago players were unable to register a point in this game.

The Penguins don’t have much time to dwell on this one. They host the Nashville Predators on Saturday, in a rematch of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final.