SEATTLE – It was a unique moment in team history that doesn’t happen very often: Facing a new NHL team for the first time.
Only three times since 2000 has it happened, with the team facing the Blue Jackets and Wild for the first time in the 2000-2001 season then the Las Vegas Golden Knights for the first time in the 2016-2017.
Wednesday was another one of the moments as the Blackhawks faced the Seattle Kraken at Climate Pledge Arena for their first match-up with the new team. Like they have in the past, they were able to get out with the victory.
A three-goal advantage stood up against late barrage of shots by the hosts in a 4-2 victory that’s the fourth-in-a-row to start interim head coach Derek King’s tenure with the team.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 31 of 33 shots from the Kraken on the evening, with a number of them coming late, to make the early advantage hold up. Seth Jones got a score in the first period, Alex Debrincat in the second, then Patrick Kane in the third, and after Seattle got two back, Jake McCabe got an empty netter to seal the victory.
Wednesday was the 29th time the Blackhawks had faced an expansion team for the first time and improved their record to 17-8-4. They’ve won six of their last seven first games with their last loss coming against the Golden Knights in 2017.
They defeated the Blue Jackets, Wild, Thrashers (now Jets), Predators, and the Ducks in their first games against those franchises.