Patrick Kane wasn’t fazed by the taunts as the Chicago Blackhawks spoiled the New York Islanders’ Barclays Center coronation.
After scoring twice in his first road game while under investigation for an alleged sexual assault, Kane attempts to lead the defending Stanley Cup champions to another win over the Islanders as the teams complete a home-and-home series Saturday night at the United Center.
Kane’s second goal, a power-play tally at 1:49 in overtime, lifted the Blackhawks to a 3-2 win on Friday in the Islanders’ first game since their move from the outdated Nassau Coliseum to the palatial Brooklyn-based Barclays Center.
The star forward, playing through an ongoing inquiry of an August incident at his Buffalo-area home in which no charges have been filed, was met with boos and verbal chants on virtually every shift.
Artem Anisimov had a short-handed goal, his first since joining Chicago (1-1-0) in the blockbuster offseason trade that sent forward Brandon Saad to Columbus, and Duncan Keith added two assists as the Blackhawks rebounded from Wednesday’s 3-2 home loss to the New York Rangers after raising the franchise’s sixth championship banner.
”That was a big goal for us,” Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. ”First time we had the (penalty) kill all year and we score short-handed. You score short-handed on the road you usually have a good night. It turned out to be a big factor in the game.”
The Blackhawks were part of another lavish pregame ceremony as the Islanders christened their new home after a 43-year stay at Nassau Coliseum. Franchise greats Bryan Trottier, Mike Bossy, Bob Nystrom and Billy Smith all took part in the puck drop and the team showed a video tribute to former coach Al Arbour, who guided the Islanders to four straight Stanley Cup titles from 1980-83 and passed away in August.
Captain John Tavares notched the Islanders’ first goal at the venue and offseason acquisition Marek Zidlicky tied the game at 2-2 early in the third period.
"I think the atmosphere was great. Our fans were into it, behind us like they always are," Tavares told the NHL’s official website. "Certainly they brought that tradition over from the Coliseum. There were some good things tonight, but I still think there is a lot better for us there."
Corey Crawford made 34 saves to improve to 4-0-1 against New York but is expected to give way to Scott Darling in Saturday’s rematch. Darling went 9-4-0 with a 1.94 goals-against average in 14 regular-season games in 2014-15, then won three times in four starts during Chicago’s championship run.
Thomas Greiss stopped 32 shots for the Islanders, coming off their first 100-point campaign since 1983-84 and a tie for second in the Metropolitan Division. He could start again Saturday with Jaroslav Halak dealing with an upper-body injury.
The Islanders have lost four straight at the United Center since a 4-2 decision on March 15, 2009, and are 3-13-1 with one tie in their last 18 visits to Chicago. Jonathan Toews had two goals and two assists and Crawford recorded 38 saves in the Blackhawks’ 4-1 home win on March 17.
Darling had 38 saves in a 3-2 loss at Nassau Coliseum on Dec. 13.