Patrick Kane’s overtime goal gives the Blackhawks a season-opening victory over Ottawa

OTTAWA – If this opener felt just a bit different, you’re not alone.

Unlike other seasons, the Blackhawks weren’t going in as a major favorite to win the Stanley Cup. They’re coming off their first playoff-less season in a decade without their top goaltender who has been out for the better part of nine months. Offseason moves by the front office were minor so the biggest additions would come from a few unproven prospects added to a veteran core.

So the hype was a bit down as Joel Quenneville’s team took the ice at the Canadian Tire Centre to open the 2018-2019 season against the Senators. In fact, you could classify the Blackhawks as an underdog in the Western Conference, one which they were typically viewed as the favorite the past decade.

But like the past, it was Patrick Kane who would prove to be the one to help the Blackhawks start a new campaign right in Ottawa.

The forward finished up the team’s first of 82 games on the season with an overtime goal to give Chicago a 4-3 victory in their season opener against the Senators. This provides a strong start to the season for Kane, who saw his goals decrease by seven from the 2016-2017 campaign last year.

It gives the Blackhawks a nice start to a busy stretch to start the season as they play three games in four nights. Friday is their one day off in the stretch as they’ll travel to St. Louis to face the Blues on Saturday before opening the home schedule against the Maple Leafs at the United Center on Sunday.

The first period appeared to set a fast pace for the evening as the Blackhawks got on the board just under five minutes into the game. Fittingly it was last season’s leading goal scorer, Alex DeBrincat, that got the road team on the board just 4:40 into the season. Even after Ottawa tied it 2:07 later, Jonathan Toews got it back with his first tally of the season with 9:30 to go in the period to give the Blackhawks the lead back.

After that, it was the Senators’ turn to ramp up the offense, with Max Lajoie and Colin White beating Cam Ward for goals to put Ottawa up 3-2 after the first period.

Ward settled down in the Blackhawks net the last two periods, keeping the Senators off the scoreboard despite a number of solid chances. Finally, the Blackhawks evened things up with 7:42 to go as Brent Seabrook fired a shot past Craig Anderson with to tie the game at three.

Then it was Kane that provided the final highlight, getting ahead of the defense on a break in 3-on-3 play in overtime and beating Anderson for the goal. It’s a familiar sight for Blackhawks’ fans in an unfamiliar situation to start this campaign.