COACHING CHANGES TRANSACTIONS POWER POLL DEPTH CHARTS CURRENT ODDS
(Tuesday, October 1st)
Final Score: Chicago 6, Washington 4
Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Chicago Blackhawks raised their fifth Stanley Cup championship banner before the start of their season opener, then picked up right where they left off.
Johnny Oduya scored the go-ahead goal with 6:07 to play as the Blackhawks opened the 2013-14 season with a 6-4 win over the Washington Capitals at United Center.
Chicago won the fifth Stanley Cup trophy in franchise history, and second in four years, with a six-game victory over the Boston Bruins last spring.
On Tuesday, Brandon Saad had a goal and two assists while Marian Hossa, Brent Seabrook, Brandon Bollig and Patrick Kane all had goals for the Blackhawks, who stayed in the Western Conference and the Central Division after the NHL realigned in the offseason.
Corey Crawford stopped 28 shots to help Chicago win a second straight game against the Capitals.
"We wanted a good start. I think we got that," Oduya said.
Washington, meanwhile, is now a member of the Metropolitan Division in the Eastern Conference.
Mikhail Grabovski notched a hat trick and an assist for the Capitals, who lost to the Rangers in seven games in the opening round of the 2013 playoffs. Alex Ovechkin had a goal and an assist.
Braden Holtby was tagged for five goals on 34 shots in the loss.
"Our turnovers gave them momentum and gave them some life," Capitals head coach Adam Oates said. "They've got a good hockey team. It's hard to play that way."
Trailing by a goal, the Blackhawks tied the game at 7:55 in the third on a rush play. Saad skated the puck in down the left side and backhanded it over to Michal Handzus before charging the net. Handzus sent the puck back to the low right side where Saad tipped it in.
Oduya then gave his team the lead with 6:07 to play as he sent a shot on net from the left boards that was going wide, but Holtby tried to grab it with the glove and wound up deflecting it into his own net.
The Caps had another chance as Patrick Sharp was called for interference at 15:53 and Joakim Nordstrom was whistled for delay of game 34 seconds later.
Crawford, though, made nice saves on Eric Fehr and Mike Green to preserve the lead.
With the net empty, Hossa was hauled down on a partial breakaway and awarded a goal to seal the win inside the final minute.
The Blackhawks took the initial lead in the game as Niklas Hjalmarsson sent a shot on net from the right point that Holtby made a right pad save on through a screen, but Bollig was there to sweep in the rebound at 4:06 of the first.
Skating on the power play, Washington tied the game at 10:42 of the first period as Ovechkin took a pass at the left circle and snapped a wrister off the right post and in.
Chicago, though, got it back 24 seconds later as Kane grabbed the puck out of the air in the middle of the Washington zone, and slid over to the left circle before firing a shot that beat Holtby to the short side.
The Capitals tied the game at 10:30 of the middle stanza as a turnover in the neutral zone created a 2-on-1 rush the other way, with Grabovski wristing a shot from the right wing that beat Crawford to the short side.
Off a give-and-go while on the power play, the Blackhawks made it a 3-2 game as Hossa's shot from the right side was stopped, but the rebound came to the left and Seabrook slammed it home at 14:32.
The Capitals tied the game yet again just 59 seconds into the third on the power play as Green took a pass at the right point and glided over to the slot before sending a shot on net that Grabovski tipped home.
It was Green and Grabovski getting together yet again on the man advantage as the Capitals took their only lead of the game as Green's slap shot from the high slot was redirected by Grabovski for his first career hat trick at 5:16.
Washington was 3-for-6 on the power play, while Chicago went 1-for-4 ... Kane won the Conn Smythe trophy last season as the MVP of the playoffs ... Chicago hosts Tampa Bay on Saturday ... Washington has its home opener on Thursday against Calgary.
10/02 01:57:03 ET