Saad, Blackhawks make 2017 Opening Night a memorable one vs Penguins

CHICAGO – It a night of hello’s, homecomings, redemption and domination all rolled into a happy 60 minutes for another packed crowd at the United Center.

Unlike the last time they were on the United Center ice, the goals came early and often. They were scored by young players and old, those who were here for the playoff debacle against the Predators and those who watched elsewhere.

The momentum grew just as quickly as the score, giving fans a glimpse of a team that lived up to its word after a four-game exit from the playoffs last spring. Perhaps this team, with three Stanley Cups in its pocket over the last seven years, played as scrappy as a team that had none for a generation.

Either way the team looked dominant against the defending NHL champion Pittsburgh Penguins, blitzing them for five first period goals in a 10-1 season-opening victory on Thursday night.

Brandon Saad, who returned to the team via trade in the offseason after two years in Columbus, made his presence felt with a season-opening hat trick that delighted the 21,705 fans that had plenty to cheer about in the first of 84 games for this Blackhawks’ squad in 2017-2018.