Blackhawks get their first regulation home win of the season against the Ducks
CHICAGO – For those who invest in tickets to home games at the United Center, you’ve seen just about everything in under a month’s time.
There have been three goals scored in the final 90 seconds to send a game to overtime. There was a thrilling comeback win by the home team in the extra session in one contest, and the return of a valuable member of the squad after a long layoff in other.
Even when the hosts got blown out on Sunday by the Lightning, they got to witness their opponent set a post-expansion NHL record for shots on goal in a period.
Yet one thing remained for Blackhawks fans at home in the early part of the 2018-2019 season: A regulation victory. Finally, that showed up on Tuesday.
Joel Qunneville’s team broke a 1-1 tie in the third period against the Ducks to win 3-1 at the United Center. Patrick Kane had the go-ahead goal and then Brandon Saad scored the second of his goals on the night on the empty net to finish it off.
In this third game back in net, and for the second-straight contest, Corey Crawford allowed just one goal on 38 shots for the evening. His 37 saves are the exact amount he had in a victory over the Blue Jackets on Saturday night.
The victory boosts the Blackhawks record to 5-2-2 overall and puts a “1” in the first category in the home record. It’s certainly something the Blackhawks hope to add a lot more after a frustrating year at the United Center in 2017-2018, when they finished just 18-18-5 at home.
One of the most encouraging firsts on this first victory night came from Saad, who finally got a goal this season on the power play 5:24 into the game. That lead held until the second period when Anaheim evened things up with a Richard Rakell goal just past the halfway point of the contest.
It stayed that way till the third when Kane put a puck past Jon Gibson for his 8th goal of the year to give the Blackhawks the lead. Saad then added the empty net goal to send the fans at the United Center home happy for the first time all year without having to go through an overtime.