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Blackhawks drop season opener to Blues

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CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 03: Alex Pietrangelo #27 of the St. Louis Blues and Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks fight for the puck period during the second period on December 3, 2014 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

by Scott King

Not enough shots, too many penalties, too many power play goals against. That was the tale of the Hawks’ 5-2 season opener defeat Wednesday night at the hands of the St. Louis Blues.

The Blackhawks took five penalties during the course of the game, three of which resulted in a St. Louis goal. The Hawks lost the shot bottle 19-33. At one point, Chicago only registered eight shots more than halfway through the game.

The Blues managed to snag two empty net goals before the game was over. The second of which came from a Brent Seabrook pass that whizzed by Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith.

“We didn’t do a whole lot of what we wanted to,” said Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews. “Our energy, our speed and our work ethic weren’t quite there. We have to regroup and try to come with that energy in the next one.

“Obviously play a little bit smarter too. We didn’t manage the puck well, and if you’re not firing on all cylinders and you’re not playing at the highest speed, winning your races, winning your battles, eventually you’re going to take penalties. Eventually you’re going to give up scoring chances. We did a lot of that tonight.”

On the bright side, forward Ryan Hartman scored his first NHL goal on an assist from fellow rookie Tyler Motte at 13:57 in the second period.

“It was a whole mix of emotions that run through you,” Hartman said. “It was nice to get it out of the way, now it’s just hockey. At the same time, we did lose, it’s a tough feeling.

Scoring in a Blackhawks sweater made the moment even sweeter for the West Dundee, Illinois native.

“You grow up watching the team, you see all the goals that have been scored here, you put yourself on the ice when you’re a kid wanting to be in that position. So to get that first one was pretty special for me and my family.”

Forward Richard Panik banked in a rebound off a Jonathan Toews’ shot for the Hawks’ first goal of the season on the power play at 4:38. Marian Hossa and Toews were credited with assists on the play.

The Blues Kevin Shattenkirk evened the score on the Blues’ power play in the second period.

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