Brandon Saad scored three times in his return to Chicago and Ryan Hartman had a goal and four assists, helping the host Blackhawks pound the Pittsburgh Penguins 10-1 Thursday.

Nick Schmaltz added two goals and an assist as Chicago kicked off its season in style with a runaway victory against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions. Patrick Kane also had a goal and three assists in the Blackhawks' highest scoring game since a 10-1 win against Winnipeg on Oct. 12, 1988.

Pittsburgh was coming off a 5-4 overtime loss to St. Louis in its season opener on Wednesday, and it looked every bit like a team on the second half of back-to-back nights. Antti Niemi was pulled after allowing four goals on 13 shots in his Penguins debut, forcing Matt Murray to come in after he took the loss against the Blues.

Richard Panik, Patrick Sharp and Brent Seabrook also scored for Chicago, and Corey Crawford made 28 saves.

Sidney Crosby found Phil Kessel for a power-play goal at 2:05 of the second period, but Chicago already had a 5-0 lead at that point. It was the most goals allowed by Pittsburgh since a 10-8 loss to San Jose on Jan. 13, 1996.

Hartman scored off a slick pass from Kane at 6:21. After Saad got his first off a rush with Panik, Kane made another great pass to set up Schmaltz's backhander at 7:34. Saad then beat Niemi with a well-placed shot through a crowd in front, and the rout was on.

The 24-year-old Saad began his career with Chicago and helped the Blackhawks win two Stanley Cups before he was traded to Columbus after the 2015 season. He came back in a blockbuster trade with the Blue Jackets in June, parting with dynamic winger Artemi Panarin in a multiplayer deal.

For one night at least, it looked like a smart move. Saad finished off his hat trick at 5:21 of the third, and Seabrook made it 10-1 with a rebound goal with 6:15 remaining.

Highlights

Boston 4, Nashville 3: Jake DeBrusk had a goal and assist in his first NHL game, Charlie McAvoy added a goal and assist in his first regular-season appearance and the host Bruins beat the Predators.

Montreal 3, Buffalo 2 (SO): Jonathan Drouin scored the lone shootout goal in rallying the Canadiens to a victory over the host Sabres.

Washington 5, Ottawa 4 (SO): Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the winning goal in the shootout to lead the visiting Capitals past the Senators.

Colorado 4, N.Y. Rangers 2: Semyon Varlamov stopped 37 shots, Tyson Barrie scored the tiebreaking goal late in the second period and the visiting Avalanche beat the Rangers.

Associated Press