Blackhawks hold off Blues, stay undefeated

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Blackhawks hold off Blues, stay undefeated

Patrick Kane hadnt been a part of a 3-on-0 before, although thered been some 2-on-0s in the past.

We had a couple 2-on-0s in Switzerland with me and (Bostons Tyler) Seguin, said Kane, recalling his EHC Biel days during the lockout. And we didnt score.

Tuesdays 3-on-0 had a much better result.

Kane scored on that very odd-man rush, and Corey Crawford stopped 32 of 34 as the Blackhawks beat the St. Louis Blues 3-2 in their home opener at the United Center. Brent Seabrook and Viktor Stalberg also scored for the Blackhawks, who opened their season with a 3-0-0 mark for the first time since the 1972-73 season.

And it started in the most unorthodox way, with Kane, Patrick Sharp and Dave Bolland skating unfettered toward Blues goaltender Brian Elliott. Kane and Sharp broke off at the end, with Kane finishing on the backhand.

Its something me and Sharpie talked about: if do get a 2 on 0 usually the guy will pass it off early or pass it around the hash marks top of the circles and give it right back, and its usually its an empty net, Kane said. Elliott played it pretty well. I had to bring it back to my backhand but it was a good feeling to score on that.

It was another great moment in an early season thats been full of them. The Blackhawks wanted to bring the intensity they had in their first two road games here for the home opener, and coach Joel Quenneville said they did.

Yeah, I liked the way we played, Quenneville said. They came on in the third and Crow stood his ground. It was a good pace to start and we had several high quality rush chances.

Yes. But a 3-on-0?

I dont know if Ive ever seen a 3-on-0 in our league. Youve probably got to go back a long time, Quenneville said. I dont know if they keep that stat.

Things got interesting in the third period, when the Blues were trying for their second comeback victory in as many nights. They outshot the Blackhawks 16-9, with Andy McDonald and T.J. Oshie scoring to make it 3-2. But Crawford would allow nothing more, closing the door on the Blues during a furious round of last-minute shots.

They definitely put some pressure on us, Crawford said. Our forwards did a great job, coming back and helping out our D with back pressure. They turned pucks over we were able to attack off of. Our D was doing well just to get the puck out and to our forwards. It was a little nerve-wracking at the end, but good.

The Blackhawks power play came through again. Crawford swept the puck away from the Blues David Backes on one end, and Duncan Keiths laser shot went off Seabrooks skate moments later for a 2-0 lead at the time. The power play, a punch line last year, is becoming effective again.

It starts with just good puck movement, Keith said. And we have two real good units, so maybe theres a little of that competitive edge to try and be good and have success. Its working so far.

Everythings working so far for the Blackhawks. Theyve bent a little but havent broken. Theyve avoided panic situations. Theyve gotten support from each other on the ice and its paid off in a 3-0-0 start. And this one was jump-started by a 3-on-0.

We knew they played last night and we wanted to jump on them early, Kane said. When youre fresh and they played a back to back, you want to jump on them early or jump on them late. It wouldve been nice to finish off a few, but to get one and get the crowd into it, its a good feeling when you play like that.

Brian Campbell hopes second stint with Blackhawks lasts longer than one season

Brian Campbell hopes second stint with Blackhawks lasts longer than one season

Brian Campbell returned to the Blackhawks with a one-year deal on Friday.

And while there's a whole year between now and the next time Campbell would be eligible to become a free agent, the 37-year-old defenseman was not shy about sharing his hope that his second stint in Chicago will last more than just one year.

"It's exciting for us to be home, to be a part of the great organization of the Blackhawks hopefully for a lot of years," Campbell told CSN's David Kaplan on Friday's edition of SportsTalk Live. "I know I just signed a one-year deal today, but hopefully we can keep this going for a few more."

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Campbell's first go-round with the Blackhawks lasted three seasons and featured a Stanley Cup win in 2010. But he's made his offseason home here ever since — even after getting traded to the Florida Panthers, where he spent the past five seasons — and his wife is a Chicagoland native, meaning he's got a strong desire to remain in the Windy City.

Taking the seemingly annual salary-cap squeeze out of the equation, will Campbell's body allow him to remain an attractive addition to future Blackhawks squads? He thinks so, saying he doesn't feel his age.

"I feel great. You know what I put into it. The offseason training is so important, especially when you get older. I really don't feel 37," Campbell said. "I feel good, I've still got my legs skating, and I'm doing everything to take care of myself. My biggest goal is to come back here and win again. I think I still have a lot left in the tank. I think I can fit in nicely into a good role here and produce and help out in a big way."

Brian Campbell: 'I don't care what my role is' with Blackhawks

Brian Campbell: 'I don't care what my role is' with Blackhawks

Plenty of time has passed since Brian Campbell was one of the top defensemen on the team that lifted the Stanley Cup back in 2010.

So now that Campbell is back with the Blackhawks following his five-season stint with the Florida Panthers — the 37-year-old agreed to a one-year deal to return to Chicago on Friday — how much different will his role be from his previous stint?

Campbell said he doesn't care what his role is with the 2016-17 edition of the Blackhawks.

It's not too hard to envision him as one of the top four defensemen alongside his once-again teammates Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Niklas Hjalmarsson. But Campbell is cool with whatever Joel Quenneville wants him to do.

"I don't care what my role is. I want to contribute," Campbell told CSN's David Kaplan on Friday's edition of SportsTalk Live. "Everybody wants to play a lot, but whatever they put me in, I'm happy with. I can see myself being in a top-four, I know I can be in a top-four role still. I still know I can produce at that level and be good at that and not just be OK. I can be great at that role. So if that's what they want me to do, I'm in for it.

"Last year, I played the most minutes on my team for a D-man. I played in top-four, top-two role, so I'm fine with that. I feel like I've got it in me to do that. I played with Hjalmarsson when I was here before, and obviously knowing the other guys, too. It's up to the coaching staff and what they want to do, but I think they can put me in anywhere they want and I'll be the hardest worker doing it."

Like most veteran free agents that have come to the Blackhawks in recent seasons, Campbell expressed his confidence in the team's ability to win another championship. This offseason has featured another salary-cap squeeze for the Blackhawks, with Andrew Shaw, Bryan Bickell and Teuvo Teravainen all traded. But surely Campbell isn't far off in his feeling that he can end this season with the Blackhawks the same way things ended in 2010.

"I think some of these young guys who are going to come up and play important roles need to show themselves. There's a lot of good competition, and you're going to need those kids coming up and it's time for them to prove themselves. I think that's going to help," Campbell said of the Blackhawks chances at another Stanley Cup in 2016-17. "And obviously when you have the best leader in hockey leading your team, you've got a chance every single night. There's a lot of will and determination in that locker room, and it's just a time for us to jump on board and get going. I wouldn't have came here if we didn't have a chance to win. That's a big reason why I came here, and I truly believe there is a chance."

Blackhawks agree to terms with Spencer Abbott on one-year deal

Blackhawks agree to terms with Spencer Abbott on one-year deal

The Blackhawks have agreed to terms with forward Spencer Abbott on a one-year deal, the team announced Friday.

The 28-year-old winger scored 14 goals and 21 assists in 42 games last season with the Frolunda Indians of the Swedish Hockey League. He also tallied one assist in nine postseason games.

Abbott is familiar with the Blackhawks organization, spending some time during the 2014-15 season with the Rockford IceHogs, where he appeared in 19 games and registered 12 goals and nine assists. He also recorded three goals and three assists in eight playoff games.

Abbott will likely begin the season in Rockford, but gives the Blackhawks some depth up front at a low cost.