It was just a few months ago when Brandon Saad was acquired by the Blackhawks in a trade that sent Artemi Panarin to Columbus, and just one game in the regular season has made an immediate impact. Saad (24) began his career with the Blackhawks organization and was part of the 2013 and 2015 teams that won Stanley Cups before he was traded to the Blue Jackets to clear some cap space. Now back in Chicago, Saad made a triumphant return as he scored a hat-trick in a 10-1 blowout of the Pittsburgh Penguins at the United Center.

Not only did Saad have a happy homecoming, but fan-favorite Patrick Sharp returned in a Blackhawks sweater after a two-year stint in Dallas.

Saad and Sharp had a combined four goals in the opening game.

Chicago's massive victory

It is not every day one sees an NHL team score double-digit goals in one game, but it happened Thursday night at the United Center. The Blackhawks scored 10 goals for the first time since 1988 against the defending champion Penguins. Brandon Saad scored the first of his three goals in a five-goal first period for the Blackhawks.

The first period also saw goals from Ryan Hartman, Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Sharp which chased former Hawk Antti Niemi out of the game. A three-goal second period came thanks to Schmaltz again, Patrick Kane and Richard Panik. Saad buried the Hat Trick goal in the third period and Brent Seabrook scored the 10th Chicago tally.

Corey Crawford did not have a lot of pressure, but he still made 28 saves on 29 shots. Ryan Hartman and Patrick Kane led the team in points with five each. Though not getting on the score sheet, Alex DeBrincat made a nice hit on Ian Cole in his NHL debut and had some solid looks at the net. The Blackhawks recorded 44 total shots on goal and funny enough went 0/6 on the power play.


Patrick Sharp and Brandon Saad looked right at home in their returns to Chicago. Both were traded for cap relief after the Blackhawks won their last cup in 2015.

Sharp (35) battled injuries and age in Dallas but returned to Chicago in great shape after season-ending surgery last year and hopes to make an impact in his second Blackhawks rodeo. Saad brings back a great two-way player as he is reunited with Jonathan Toews, whom he had success within his previous stint. With Marian Hossa on LTIR, Saad can fill the type of role Hossa played.

The Blackhawks will welcome back Artemi Panrin at the United Center Saturday night as the Columbus Blue Jackets come to town.