Blackhawks

Instant reaction: Blackhawks pick up first win of season, hand Oilers first loss

Instant reaction: Blackhawks pick up first win of season, hand Oilers first loss

FINAL SCORE:

Blackhawks 3, Oilers 1

Snap judgments:

— The Blackhawks got off to another strong start in the first period even though it was a 0-0 game through the first 20 minutes. They generated 12 scoring chances at 5-on-5 to Edmonton's five, according to Natural Stat Trick. 

— The Blackhawks absolutely dominated the second period, which is something they haven't been able to do this season. They led in shot attempts (32-8), shots on goal (17-6) and took a 1-0 lead into the third period. It was exactly what they've been talking about doing, but this time they actually did it.

— Corey Crawford was spectacular. He was on his way to a shutout before the Oilers scored with 2:11 left in regulation, but was sharp from the moment the puck dropped and finished with 27 saves.

— The Oilers were 5-0-0 going into Monday's game and trailed in each of those five games. The Blackhawks did a great job of sustaining their early third-period push.

Three stars:

1. Blackhawks G Corey Crawford — Stopped 27 of 28 shots for a save percentage of .964

2. Blackhawks RW Patrick Kane — One goal, five shot attempts (two on goal) in 19:21 of ice time

3. Oilers G Mike Smith — Stopped 32 of 34 shots for a save percentage of .941

Must-see highlights:

— Kane's second goal of the season

— Andrew Shaw drops the hammer

— Alex Nylander's second goal as a Blackhawk

What's next:

The Blackhawks host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday, Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Chicago.

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Blackhawks record 500th consecutive sellout at United Center

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USA Today

Blackhawks record 500th consecutive sellout at United Center

The Blackhawks have had many ups over the last decade-plus, highlighted by three Stanley Cups. They've also had some downs recently, missing the playoffs for two seasons in a row after nine straight appearances.

But the fan support hasn't wavered.

On Monday against the Edmonton Oilers, the Blackhawks announced a crowd of 21,260, which became their 500th consecutive sellout at the United Center (436 regular season, 64 postseason). The NHL record is held by the Pittsburgh Penguins, who are at 572 games and counting. 

The Blackhawks have led the league in attendance for 11 straight seasons, which started during the 2008-09 campaign.

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Blackhawks not going to 'freak out' about 0-2-1 start

Blackhawks not going to 'freak out' about 0-2-1 start

The Blackhawks wanted to get off to a strong start this season because they know how hard it is to climb out of a hole in the Central Division. Last season was proof of that.

Well, they've picked up only one out of a possible six points through three games and are one of three teams still searching for their first victory of the season. But they're not going into panic mode just yet.

"We know there's things we have to improve upon," Jonathan Toews said. "Jeremy [Colliton] always talks about doing the right thing and over time eventually you're going to get results. I don't know if we can say we're doing things the right things that we want to and we're playing complete games right now, so even having said that, midway through the San Jose game and even against Winnipeg we were in a position to take control of the game going into the third period and we let teams back in. So I think there's a lot of ways we can play better.

"But having said that we're in those games and giving ourselves a chance to win. Obviously that's not good enough, but we're not going to freak out and say, 'we've got to start winning games.' Of course that's the goal, we wanted to get two points the other night."

The quest to pick up their first two points of the season doesn't get any easier for the Blackhawks on Monday night. The Edmonton Oilers are coming to town with a 5-0-0 record, and they're clicking on all cylinders. They have the second-best power play unit (41.2 percent), second-best penalty kill percentage (94.1), the NHL's leading point-getter in Connor McDavid (12) and leading goal scorer in James Neal (seven).

The Blackhawks know at some point they have to start stringing together some wins, but they're not living and dying by the standings right now because everything looks out of proportion. They're focused on the process and putting together a full 60-minute effort.

"It's always magnified at the start of the year," Colliton said. "Your special teams, you got [teams] with 100 percent PK, you got [teams] with 40 percent power play, and all the little things they look way bigger than they are. Would be nice for us to get a win, get some positive feelings but any three-game window among the 82, it's not going to be looked upon as closely as this one.

"So again, we've just got to focus on playing hard, playing the game the right way, do the right thing time and time again and we'll get the results." 

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