It looked like it would be a night of celebration at the United Center as the Blackhawks scored early and often in their home opener, but a late charge from the visiting Sharks saw Chicago fall on home ice, 5-4.
Here's are three takeaways from the back-and-forth affair:
After holding a lead on four separate occasions, a home-opening loss to the Sharks was a bitter pill to swallow after the final buzzer tolled at the UC on Thursday night.
"It had the potential to be a really good night," head coach Jeremy Colliton said. "We had several guys who were really good and I think after two periods we probably deserved a little bit better, but ultimately they found a way to get pucks in around our net and they found a way to get on some rebounds."
For the second time this season, a strong offensive output was undone by what was described by several in the locker room as a non-complete effort. Colliton said it's the buy-in from the whole group that he needs to see as the Blackhawks continue their longest home stretch of the calendar in the coming two weeks.
"I think we haven't quite decided that we're willing to do the right thing all the time, every shift for 60 minutes. That's what the teams that have success do," he said. "No one's perfect. We're not going to be perfect. We're going to make mistakes, but the mistakes we make should be when we still have the right intention to do the right thing and I don't think we did all the time tonight. We've got to bear down on the situations where the game's on the line. I don't think we reached that level."
It had been 1,297 days since Andrew Shaw heard Chelsea Dagger fill the United Center immediately after the puck left his stick - a sound so nice, he found it twice early on.
Shaw gave the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead at 13:22 of the first, his first tally home tally on Madison St. since March 22, 2016. His 3-2 go-ahead goal at 9:27 of the second made it his first multi-goal game at the UC sine Jan. 20, 2015. Both highlights for the second-time Blackhawk, though, were dampened by the end result.
"It feels good, but two for the team would've been a lot better," Shaw said after the loss. "We're not happy with how the game ended. We did a lot of things right during the game, we just didn't do them right all the time. We took some shifts off that we ended up shooting ourselves in the foot with them."
Much has been made about the energy and physicality that the 28-year-old brings to the highly-skilled Blackhawks roster, but it's that same tenacity that also puts him in positions to find the net, like he did with the first rebound and being in position on a strong forecheck for the second.
"That's part of the reason that we were so excited to get him," Colliton said of Shaw's multi-faceted skillset. "He makes a lot of things happen. He goes to the dirty areas. He finishes his checks. He gets on the forecheck. He creates loose pucks, wins puck battles, goes to the net, gets in the goalies eyes and in this game you get rewarded for that. We're a better team because we have him."
Nearly a week ago, Dominik Kubalik came within inches of netting his first NHL goal just miles from his hometown of Plzen, Czech Republic. Back on U.S. soil, he needed just five minutes to make up for it.
"It's great to score my first one, but at the end it's still - you don't have the two points," Kubalik said after scoring his first at 5:07 of the opening frame. "It's always a thing you're going to remember. It was a great feeling during the game."
Firing a team-high six shots on net in the opener, Kubalik was so dominant his play earned a promotion to the top line with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane as Chicago looked to spark more offense through the rookie.
"We were trying to get that other line going, Toews and Kane, so I thought he (Kubalik) was the one who was really dynamic," Colliton said. "I thought he was great, especially early on."
"I think it's one of my strengths, so I'm just trying to use it and whenever I get a chance I want to shoot it," Kubalik said. "I think there were a couple good chances today, I shouldn't be too excited ... there was an empty net there, the breakaway I think I should make a little better decision. I'm just going to learn from it."