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Blackhawks' Consecutive Sellout Streak Ends at 535 Games

Chicago, which has not led a game this season, set the NHL record for the longest time to start a season without a lead at 360:57.
Chicago Blackhawks Attendance

Photo: Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire

The Chicago Blackhawks' sellout streak ended at 535 games Sunday at the United Center, ending a 13-year run that started March 8, 2008, against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Only 19,042 fans, below the United Center's 19,717 hockey capacity, watched the Blackhawks drop to 0-5-1 with a 6-3 loss to the Detroit Red Wings.

Blackhawks team president Danny Wirtz, the son of chairman Rocky Wirtz, issued a statement on the sellout streak ending.

"We thank our fans for bringing the energy each and every game night - and in this moment, it's hard to be anything but grateful to them for showing up in full force for more than 530 games in a row," Wirtz said. "We're actively building toward more competitive play on the ice as well as an experience that invites fans back following the COVID-19 pandemic. But it's also important to note that we've set a number of goals to welcome new and more diverse audiences into Blackhawks hockey moving forward, and greater accessibility to tickets is a big part of that."

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"This is a great opportunity to reassure fans both new and old that there is absolutely a seat [at the United Center] for them."

The Blackhawks were without forwards Patrick Kane and Jujhar Khaira, defenseman Riley Stillman, and assistant coach Marc Crawford, who remain in NHL COVID-19 protocol.

The Blackhawks set an NHL record for the longest time to start a season without a lead at 360:57 and counting, eclipsing the Washington Capitals' 350-minute mark in 2000. Chicago has not held a lead in any game this season. They held a team meeting after the game.

Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton and captain Jonathan Toews declined to provide specifics to media when asked about what was said during the meeting.

What's On Tap Next?

The Blackhawks will practice Monday at Fifth Third Arena. The team could also practice Tuesday before hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday at the United Center.