Chicago Blackhawks

Blackhawks vs. Kraken: A Look Back at Chicago's First Games vs. NHL Expansion Teams

The Chicago Blackhawks will make some history on Wednesday night, as they’ll take on the Seattle Kraken for the first time in team history.

The game, of course, will mean that the Blackhawks will have played all 31 possible opponents in the league, with the Kraken joining the NHL prior to the 2021-22 season.

As they prepare to take the ice in the Pacific Northwest, we thought it might be fun to take a look back at their first-ever meetings at all the other current expansion franchises in the NHL (sorry, California Golden Seals).

*A note on records: all-time records are expressed as wins, losses, ties, and overtime losses, with ties being allowed in the NHL until the 2005-06 season.

2017-18: Vegas Golden Knights

The league’s most recent expansion team welcomed the Blackhawks to Sin City on Oct. 24, 2017, and beat them 4-2 in front of a sold-out crowd.

All-time, the Blackhawks are 1-6-2 against the Golden Knights in nine regular season meetings.

2000-01: Columbus Blue Jackets

The Blackhawks’ first game against the Blue Jackets was more friendly, as they beat Columbus 5-3 in the state capital of Ohio.

In 95 all-time games against the Jackets, the Blackhawks have a winning record of 57-29-2-7.

Minnesota Wild

The Blackhawks made their first back up to Minnesota after the departure of the North Stars on Oct. 29, 2000, beating the Wild 3-2.

In 77 regular-season games, the Blackhawks hold a record of 33-32-1-11 against the Wild.

1999-00: Atlanta Thrashers

In their first-ever meeting against Atlanta, the Blackhawks took down a 4-3 victory over the Thrashers, who have since moved to Winnipeg and become the second edition of the Jets.

In 46 games against Jets 2.0, the Blackhawks have a record of 24-19-0-3.

1998-99: Nashville Predators

The Blackhawks also won their first-ever game against the Predators, beating them 5-4 on Oct. 24, 1998 at the United Center.

In 126 meetings, the Blackhawks currently hold a record of 62-49-4-11.

1993/94: Mighty Ducks of Anaheim  

The Blackhawks played the Ducks for the first time on Dec. 19, 1993, picking up a 2-0 shutout win at the Chicago Stadium.

The Ducks have had the better end of their all-time series with Chicago, as the Blackhawks won a 43-47-5-3 record in 98 games.

Florida Panthers

The Blackhawks opened the 1993-94 season against the Panthers, playing to a 4-4 tie at Chicago Stadium on Oct. 6, 1993.

In 49 all-time games against the Panthers, the Blackhawks have a 27-15-3-4 record.

1992/93: Ottawa Senators

The Blackhawks first visited Ottawa on Dec. 23, 1992, and they got into the holiday spirit with a 4-2 win over the Senators.

All-time, the Blackhawks are 26-9-2-1 against the new version of the Senators. The previous iteration of the Senators folded after the 1934-35 season, and the Blackhawks were 19-12-7-0 against them.  

Tampa Bay Lightning

The Blackhawks opened the 1992-93 season in Tampa Bay, losing 7-3 to the Lightning on Oct. 7, 1992.

The Lightning hold the edge in the all-time series between the clubs, with the Blackhawks sporting a record of 19-22-5-8 in 54 games.

1991/92: San Jose Sharks

On Oct. 13, 1991, the Blackhawks welcomed the Sharks to the Chicago Stadium, and beat them handily by a 7-3 margin.

The Blackhawks hold a record of 44-45-5-9 against the Sharks in 103 all-time meetings.

1979/80: Edmonton Oilers

In the year after the merger of the NHL and WHL, the Blackhawks opened their season against the Oilers on Oct. 10, 1979, beating them 4-2.

In 141 meetings, the Blackhawks are 70-52-12-7 against Edmonton.

Hartford Whalers

The Blackhawks and Whalers played to a 3-3 tie in their first-ever meeting on Oct. 14, 1979.

In 89 all-time games, the Blackhawks have a record of 39-40-7-3 against the Carolina Hurricanes, who moved to Raleigh from Hartford prior to the 1997-98 season.

Quebec Nordiques

Things didn’t get off to a great start for the Blackhawks against the Nordiques, as they fell 3-0 in the first meeting between the clubs on Oct. 21, 1979.

The series between the two teams has been remarkably even through 144 games, with the Blackhawks holding a 63-63-9-9 record in those games. The Nordiques moved to Colorado and became the Avalanche prior to the 1995-96 season.

Winnipeg Jets

The Blackhawks welcomed the first incarnation of the Jets to Chicago Stadium on Oct. 24, 1979, picking up a shutout 4-0 victory in that game.

The Jets have since moved to Phoenix, becoming the Arizona Coyotes. In 151 all-time meetings, the Blackhawks hold a record of 75-51-15-10 against the franchise.

1974/75: Kansas City Scouts

On Nov. 2, 1974, the Blackhawks played the Scouts for the first time, picking up a 4-3 victory in the game.

The Scouts have moved twice in their history, first to Colorado where they became the Colorado Rockies prior to the 1976-77 season, and then to their new home in New Jersey, where they became the Devils prior to the 1982-83 season.

In 116 games, the Blackhawks have a 51-40-21-4 record against the franchise.

Washington Capitals

The Blackhawks made their maiden trip to the nation’s capital on Oct. 17, 1974, losing to the Capitals 4-3.

In 100 all-time meetings, the Blackhawks hold a slight edge over the Capitals, with a 44-42-11-3 record.

1972/73: Atlanta Flames

The Blackhawks welcomed the Flames to the Chicago Stadium rather rudely on Oct. 11, 1972, winning 4-1 on that evening.

In 176 meetings, the Blackhawks have a record of 77-65-26-8 record against the Flames, who have since moved to Calgary.

New York Islanders

The Blackhawks made their first trip to Long Island on Oct. 28, 1972, playing the Islanders to a 4-4 draw.

In 116 games, the Blackhawks have a 52-41-20-3 record against the Islanders.  

1970/71: Buffalo Sabres

In their first-ever trip to Buffalo, the Blackhawks beat the Sabres in a 4-0 shutout on Oct. 25, 1970.

In 124 games, the Blackhawks have a record of 57-53-13-1 against the Sabres.

Vancouver Canucks

In their second game of the 1970-71 season, the Blackhawks thrashed the Canucks by a score of 8-2 on Oct. 14, 1970.

In 196 games against Vancouver, the Blackhawks have a record of 89-74-22-11.

1967/68: Los Angeles Kings

In the year the NHL expanded from six to 12 teams, the Blackhawks found the sledding to be tough, falling to the Kings in their first meeting on Oct. 22, 1967.

Their fortunes have improved since then, with a 95-78-17-10 record in 200 all-time games.

Minnesota North Stars

The Blackhawks traveled to Minnesota for the first time on Oct. 28, 1967, beating the North Stars 4-2.

In 292 games against the now-Dallas Stars, the Blackhawks have a record of 146-108-31-7.

Philadelphia Flyers

The Blackhawks welcomed the Flyers to Chicago Stadium on Nov. 29, 1967, winning the game by a 3-1 margin.

In 142 regular season meetings, the Flyers have had the decided advantage, with Chicago sporting a 47-64-30-1 record.

Pittsburgh Penguins

The Blackhawks headed to Pittsburgh for an Oct. 21, 1967 meeting with the Penguins, losing 4-2 in that contest.

Since then, the Blackhawks have had a big reversal of fortune, with a 77-43-17-3 record in 140 all-time meetings.

St. Louis Blues

The long-time rivals met for the first time on Nov. 12, 1967, with the Blackhawks picking up a 5-2 win at Chicago Stadium.

The Blackhawks have an all-time record of 152-122-35-11 against the Blues in 320 regular season meetings.

Contact Us