Thursday night marked the first time Sidney Crosby has faced the Blackhawks since 2007.
The Penguins captain made his return to the United Center for the first time since his rookie season and recorded a goal that helped lead Pittsburgh to a 4-3 shootout victory.
"I think people thought I had the Chicago flu when I hadn't played here in so long," he joked after the game. "But obviously (it's) a great building, a lot of tradition here. With the team they have it's an exciting place to play so I'm happy I get a chance to be here and would like to be in the regular season a little bit more."
But the next time Crosby and his teammates return to the Windy City, they won't be heading to Madison Street. Instead, they'll be taking the ice at Soldier Field to face the Blackhawks in the outdoor Stadium Series game on March 1.
"That will be great," Crosby said about the upcoming game. "They have great fans here who support their team well. It's always an exciting city to be in."
But before both teams begin looking too far ahead, the Blackhawks and Penguins have one more preseason matchup to prepare for.
Next Monday's game marks the first time Crosby and Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews could potentially face each other in the NHL. While Crosby is "a little bit" excited to face his former — and likely future — Olympic teammate, he says he's preparing for Chicago's top line as a whole.
"I know (Toews) competes hard, obviously from playing with him you see that and from watching him," Crosby said. "He's a great player but I think as you look at those matchups against every team you always look at the guys you're going to play against and you always get excited for that.
"That's what it's about; it's about going out there and competing and leaving it out there, but especially against a great player like him."
Crosby believes that in order to compete with the Blackhawks, he and his teammates can't focus on individual players. After watching the Blackhawks win their second Stanley Cup in four years, he didn't hesitate praising the reigning champs.
"It's pretty impressive," he said. "I think that to be the only team that's done it since the salary cap, it's pretty impressive. And I think with the team they have, the depth, the youth they have, I think it's a big reason why. But with all that said you still have to be able to go out there and perform and they've been able to do that."