The Chicago Blackhawks dropped their home opener at the United Center to the Vegas Golden Knights 5-3 on Saturday.
Here are 10 observations from the loss:
1. The Golden Knights are the first defending Stanley Cup champion in NHL history to start the season with a 6-0-0 record. They are a problem again in the Western Conference. So deep.
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2. Connor Bedard made his official home debut, and he scored 90 seconds into the game on the power play with that lethal shot of his. I can't remember the last time I heard the United Center that loud for a regular-season game. The celebration was deafening.
3. Bedard won the opening faceoff and there was a huge eruption when he did. It was amazing. The energy in the building was noticeably awesome.
4. The Blackhawks had five power plays in this game. They scored once, on the Bedard goal. They couldn't get another but they were moving the puck around better. A positive step after a tough road trip in that department.
5. The Blackhawks committed four penalties in the first period and five total. I thought the Jason Dickinson tripping penalty was pretty soft. There wasn't much there. The Blackhawks killed off three of the five penalties.
6. Arvid Söderblom made his third start of the season. He was fine, for the most part. The second goal is probably the one he'd like to have back. A 26-foot wrist shot from Jonathan Marchessault squirted by him and made it 2-1 Vegas.
7. Reese Johnson drew back into the lineup and was part of the new-look fourth line that included Ryan Donato and Boris Katchouk. Johnson scored his first goal of the season in the second period after an incredible redirection on Connor Murphy's shot to tie things up at 2-2. He had a strong game.
8. The Blackhawks had 18 giveaways. For context, their giveaways per 60 minutes last season was 8.9, which ranked No. 19 in the NHL. Puck management got sloppy at times. But Vegas does that to most teams.
9. Taylor Hall went to the locker room midway through the second period after taking a hit from Vegas defenseman Brayden Pachal. He returned for the start of the third period. Sigh of relief.
10. Colin Blackwell (lower body) and Philipp Kurashev (left wrist) joined the team for morning skate on Saturday. One or both of them could be getting close to returning, which could make things interesting up front. Cole Guttman was also assigned to the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League before the game.