The Chicago Blackhawks entered the season opener with altered third and fourth lines and defensive pairs because of injuries or trades. Couple that with too many penalties and a shortened bench due to them, and it can be quite the predicament.

It’s at times like that when you need a big performance from someone. On opening night, the Blackhawks got that from their goaltender.

Corey Crawford stopped 32 of 34 shots and Patrick Kane notched the shootout winner as the Blackhawks came from behind to beat the Dallas Stars 3-2 on Thursday night. It was a big night for Crawford, who was busy early and solid throughout, also denying the Stars any goal in the shootout.

“We have to call the cops: we stole two points tonight. Crow was great,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “He played (well) in that first period, second period better. We got going in the third but certainly call that a goalie (victory). They were quick and they came at us. Finally we picked it up in the third but it was tough to watch for 40.”

Duncan Keith had a goal and added an assist. Brent Seabrook blocked six shots. Kane had an assist as well as that shootout winner, a pretty backhander that bested Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen.

The first two periods weren’t pretty from the Blackhawks’ perspective. Give some of that credit to the Stars. Dallas is an improved team and looking to make a statement this season, both in the Central Division and the Western Conference. The Stars were fast and they were relentless.

The Blackhawks, meanwhile, were sloppy. They took six penalties, including five in the first two periods. That led to Quenneville running three lines and two defensive pairs through those first 40 minutes.