CHICAGO – Many had hoped that having their coach in place to start the 2019-2020 season might lead to a fast start, and it still might by the time the first month has come to an end.
But the first three games of the season didn’t yield the results that Jeremy Colliton or his Blackhawks’ players might have hoped. They had two regulation losses to start things out, then dropped a two-goal lead in an overtime defeat to Winnipeg at the United Center.
On Monday, the fourth time would prove to be the charm for the Blackhawks, who finally had a consistent effort over 60 minutes to get in the win column.
Corey Crawford stopped all but one of the 28 shots he faced against the Oilers at the United Center and his offense gave him enough support in a 3-1 victory that gets the Blackhawks two points.
Patrick Kane struck for his second goal of the season in the second period and then the Blackhawks got insurance from Alex Nylander’s score in the third. Both were the first for each since the opening night loss to the Flyers in Prague, and Crawford made it hold up.
In his third game of the season, after allowing nine goals in the first two games, Corey only allowed a power-play goal to James Neal with 2:11 to go in the game. Brandon Saad put any doubt about the victory to rest with an empty-net goal soon after to get the Blackhawks two points for their effort.
It was the team’s 500 consecutive sellout at the United Center, and they got a chance to see something that’s been pretty common over the past decade. Yet having it happen for the first time this season made the milestone even more special for the team and fans.