Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane high-fives fans as he walks a red carpet introduction before their home opener NHL hockey game against the St. Louis Blues, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, in Chicago.
George LeClaire | Staff Photographer
A fan holds a sign "We Missed You," in the second period of an NHL hockey game with the Washington Capitals against the Winnipeg Jets Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013 in Washington.
Vancouver Canucks' goalie Roberto Luongo (1) skates past a fan holding a sign during the pregame skate before playing the Anaheim Ducks in an NHL hockey season opener in Vancouver, British Columbia, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013.
Fans gather along the boards to watch players warm up for an NHL hockey game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Carolina Hurricanes, the Hurricanes' home-opener, in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.
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NHL fans were fed up with labor strife updates and they weren't coming back to the sport they loved once the lockout was lifted. Except that they did. In most homes and arenas, they came in record numbers, unable to stay away for that first faceoff. "It's obviously a pretty good feeling out there having the fans. They are unbelievable," Flyers captain Claude Giroux said.