The thunderous ovation that accompanied the national anthem before the Blackhawks' home opener Thursday night brought back memories of bygone nights in Chicago Stadium.
Then, the Hawks went out and did something they used to do with regularity in the Stadium. The team that has been such a disappointment on home ice in recent years went out and won a home game.
After being shut out in their preceding two games, the Hawks took it out on the Phoenix Coyotes, 3-0.
Tony Amonte, whose 35 goals led the Hawks last year, snapped out of his mini-slump by ending a goaltending duel with a goal at 9:02 of the second period.
The goal came on a high, hard drive from the left circle that whizzed past Phoenix goalie Robert Esche's glove hand and ricocheted off the post as it went into the far corner of the net.
It was the first point of the season for Amonte and it ended the Hawks' scoreless streak at eight periods.
With Esche pulled for an extra attacker, Steve Sullivan broke away to score with 39 seconds to play and Alexander Karpovtsev hit the empty net from the length of the rink with 15 seconds remaining.
Hawks goalie Jocelyn Thibault stopped33 shots in evening his season record at 2-2.
Phoenix was awarded a seven-minute power play when rookie Aaron Downey drew instigating and fighting penalties early in the third period.
Fortunately for the Hawks, the plug was pulled on the power play 75 seconds thereafter, thanks to the bad judgment of the Coyotes' Danny Markov. He drew blood from Steve Thomas' mouth when he struck the Hawks' right wing with his stick, and his punishment was a five-minute slashing penalty, plus a game- misconduct penalty.
BLACKHAWKS 3, COYOTES 0