Blackhawks best Bruins 3-2 in shootout
Last spring, the Blackhawks and Bruins played no less than seven overtime periods during the Stanley Cup Final.
Is it any surprise, then, that Sunday's first game of the season between these two teams went to a shootout?
Boston's roster might have changed a little more than Chicago's since June, but their new pieces have fitted smoothly into the team. The two teams picked up right where they left off in June.
The Blackhawks opened the scoring early, a Marian Hossa wrist shot to make it 1-0.
Chicago captain Jonathan Toews took an uncharacteristic - and unusual - penalty when he tossed a piece of his broken stick into the stands, resulting in a 10-minute misconduct (NHL rule 53.4).
Brad Marchand put Boston on the board with just 19 seconds left in the first period, beating Corey Crawford stick side. Marchand would also get the Bruins' second goal of the night just 50 seconds into the second period, getting it to go five-hole.
Brandon Bollig tied up the game with his fifth goal of the season, a fluky goal from a sharp angle that managed to get past Tuukka Rask 9:44 into the second period.
Neither team would score again in regulation. The game was filled with solid back-and-forth and good chances on both end. While it started out at a pace more to the Blackhawks' liking, there was plenty of physicality later.
Boston's Matt Bartkowski took a penalty with just 5 seconds left in the third period. The Blackhawks couldn't take advantage of the power play in overtime, both sides had a couple good looks at the other's net, and then it was on to the shootout.
The Bruins' only shootout goal was scored by - who else? - Brad Marchand, while both Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane scored, to give Chicago the win 3-2.
With this victory, coach Joel Quenneville moves into 3rd place in all-time NHL coaching victories (692), tied with Dick Irvin, who coached from 1929-1956.
The Blackhawks will play just one more home game before the Olympics - next Sunday's game versus the Jets. This Wednesday, they will head to Detroit to play the Red Wings.