CHICAGO -- The Madhouse on Madison Street was packed with 21,455 fans and the Blackhawks didn't disappoint their faithful, defeating the St. Louis Blues 3-2 in Chicago's lockout-delayed home opener at the United Center.
Chicago remains perfect in the young season, improving to 3-0-0, while St. Louis suffered its first loss of 2013, falling to 2-1. What's more, the Blues continue to have fits in Chicago: they haven't won at the United Center since Feb. 3, 2010.
Viktor Stalberg scored his second goal of the season at 2:09 of the third period, assisted by Bryan Bickell and Johnny Oduya, putting Chicago's victory on ice.
St. Louis managed to avoid a shutout when left wing Andy McDonald tallied at 4:40 of the third period, his third goal of the season. The Blues then put a scare into Chicago with just over five minutes remaining, taking advantage of both the power play and sloppy defense by the Blackhawks as T.J. Oshie closed the scoring gap with his second goal of the season.
And even though they outshot the Blackhawks 34-27, St. Louis would come no closer.
Defenseman Brent Seabrook and winger Patrick Kane provided most of the early offensive firepower that the Blackhawks needed in the first two periods.
Taking advantage of the power play, Seabrook scored his first goal of the season at 8:21 of the second period with assists from Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith, putting the Blackhawks up 2-0 over St. Louis.
The goal was originally credited to Keith, but was subsequently changed a few minutes later and awarded to Seabrook. Chicago outshot St. Louis 11-8 in the period.
Kane scored Chicago's first home goal of the season (and Kane's second overall this season) at 7:20 of the first period.
After a give-and-go with teammate Patrick Sharp, Kane crossed in front of Blues goalie Brian Elliot and effortlessly deked a shot past the sprawled out Blues goalie to give the Blackhawks an early 1-0 lead.
At 12:47 of the opening period, Blues winger Chris Stewart and Hawks winger Brandon Bollig engaged in a lengthy but relatively mild fight, both being assessed separate five-minute penalties. At period's end, the Blues had outshot the Blackhawks 10-7.
NOTES: Tuesday was the Blackhawks' home opener for the lockout-shortened season. Last season, the Hawks had the fourth-best home record in the NHL at 27-8-6. ... Coming into Tuesday's game, Hawks right winger Marian Hossa was tied for the lead in goals thus far this season with four, with back-to-back two-goal games in the season openers at the L.A. Kings and Phoenix Coyotes. ... Tuesday marked Blues' left wing Alex Steen's 500th career game in the NHL. ... St. Louis is coming off the second-best season in its history (49-22-11 and 109 points). ... Chicago plays Thursday at Dallas and Saturday at Columbus before returning Sunday against Detroit. The Blues host Nashville on Thursday, are at Dallas Saturday and back home against visiting Minnesota on Sunday.