January 19: Blackhawks 5, Kings 2, Staples Center

Looking back before looking ahead to the Western Conference finals …

The Blackhawks rained all over the Kings’ Stanley Cup banner-raising celebration by thumping them in the lockout-delayed season-opener. Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, Michael Frolik and Jonathan Toews scored for Chicago during a relentless attack that resulted in a commanding 4-0 lead after only 21 minutes, 16 seconds had been played. The Blackhawks’ remarkable speed and skill with the puck was on full display and the Kings couldn’t keep pace.

Goaltender Jonathan Quick, the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the MVP of the 2012 playoffs, was left to fend for himself all too often. It wasn’t a winning start for the champs, and a raucous crowd that came to celebrate the franchise’s first championship since entering the NHL in 1967 went home disappointed. Of greater importance than one loss to start the season was a back injury suffered by defenseman Matt Greene that would require surgery. Greene sat out 42 games while recovering and rehabilitating his injury.

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