Blackhawks Fall To Pens In Shootout

After making a number of roster moves earlier on Monday, the Blackhawks (well, mostly IceHogs) faced the Pittsburgh Penguins. In another preseason shootout, the Hawks lost to the Pens 3-2.

The scoring recap was pretty simple during regulation. Bryan Bickell scored twice in the second period, once short-handed and once on the power play. Kris Letang then scored twice in the third for Pittsburgh, the game-tying goal being a power play marker with less than three minutes left in regulation.

In the shootout, the Hawks sent out Brandon Pirri and Bickell. The Pens sent out James Neal and Sidney Crosby. Pirri and Bickell failed to score; Neal and Crosby didn’t. Game over.

There were a number of interesting takeaways from the game, though.

Pirri, in his first preseason game, played well. He won nine of 20 faceoffs, had an assist on Bickell’s short-handed goal, and was credited with one hit and one blocked shot.

Jeremy Morin had an eventful evening as well. He had the primary assist on Bickell’s second goal, a Morin shot that was redirected into the net by Bickell. Morin spent a couple minutes in the penalty box after he and Crosby exchanged pleasantries early in the third period as well.

Nikolai Khabibulin had a very good performance, stopping 31 of 33 Penguins shots in 65 minutes of play. He had three regular NHL defensemen in the lineup – Nick Leddy, Johnny Oduya and Niklas Hjalmarsson – and Bickell was his most experienced forward, making his work impressiveĀ against a number of Pittsburgh regulars, including Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Chris Kunitz and Neal.

Leddy led all Hawks with over 28 minutes of ice time and performed admirably. He was credited with a team-high four blocked shots and two hits in the game.

Joakim Nordstrom had another solid night, and once again saw action on both special teams. He led all Chicago forwards with 1:36 short-handed, and skated another 2:31 on the power play. He was credited with only one shot on goal and one blocked shot, but coach Joel Quenneville has used him as a primary penalty killer throughout the preseason.

Drew LeBlanc had another rough night at the dot, winning only three of 16 draws. In 19 shifts, he was credited with only one shot on goal.

 

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12 Responses to Blackhawks Fall To Pens In Shootout

  1. EbonyRaptor says:

    It sounded like Pirri did OK for his first game considering there’s usually some rust to knock off after not playing for a while. Yay Nordstrom – keeping the hope alive for that guy.

    Training camp cuts usually come down to the math, so figuring the Hawks will keep 14 forwards and 9 of the spots are spoken for (19/88/81/10/29/20/65/16/26) – leaving 5 spots. Q loves Bollig, and Smith is almost a sure thing, so that leaves 3 spots for 5 players – Morin, Hayes, Pirri, Nordstrom and Winchester. Of those, Morin and Hayes are probably leading the pack. So it looks to me it comes down to Pirri, Nordstrom or Winchester for the final spot. If Pirri plays well enough in the last preseason game – maybe Q gives him a shot, but then again after hearing the comments Q has made it may have always been a fait accompli regarding Pirri’s chances of making the team. If Pirri doesn’t make the team, then I think Nordstrom has a good chance to beat out Winchester for the last spot … keeping hope alive.

  2. wall says:

    Agree- but good chance that 81/26 (one or both) start on injured list… gives them more time… and gives Brass more time to see who might fit better, and where with REAL game time. So I think they should let Pirri play- sink/swim in first several games…

    I think they should have traded Pirri coming off his scoring title…
    hope he proves me wrong!

    Joakim Noah-strom is going to make this team!

  3. wall says:

    Another thought on Noahstrom- he actually would fit in well w/ Shaw and 20/Morin.
    Fast/agile like Shaw… and it would be shame to waste Joakim’s IQ/playmaking passing to the likes of Kruger or Bollig…

    Safe bet- he plays w/ 16… this way Q only really assigns the rookie D responsibilities,
    but I think he is better/playmaking wise than that… he played some Center for Sweden at WJ’s and he impressed w/ speed/skating.

  4. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Pirri doesn’t have a real future…at least in Chicago. He’s not physically gifted enough, either on offense or defense. He’s a quality kid who has put up good numbers in AHL hockey, but truth be told he’s the type of player who rides the Rockford shuttle on even a semi-decent team. Maybe Pirri sticks temporarily, but like I’ve been saying for a long time the future at Center is Danuault, who I think is up with this team for good by the Christmas holidays. Pirri is filler. And Pirri’s future is probably languishing as a 4th liner type for a non-playoff type team.

  5. wall says:

    Rufus- I don’t see what Danault has done here to put him at the top of the list…
    Danault is a much better skater than, Pirri, LeBlah, and McNeill- but otherwise hasn’t shown me much!!! And Nordstrom still better/quicker than Danault.

    Hawks need Danault’s skating, LeBlah’s Puck possession/passing, and Pirri’s shot- all in one guy! ( oh wait TT!!!) Freeze has looked better than all of these guys!

    LeBlah- looks fantastic from the Circles to the Boards in the O zone- Weak everywhere else… skates like a young Bruno- ugh!

  6. BigsmokeJ says:

    I mentioned this in another thread and agree with Wall, both Zues and Hossa should be placed on IR and not seen until after X-mas. We don’t need them now, we need them after the break and for the playoffs.
    This way you see what Pirri, Nordstrom and any of the others you want to bring up can do and give those two needed rest.

  7. Mike says:

    Hawks allowed another lead to slip away in the 3d. I know, the Hawks were outmatched last night on the road. But it seems like the team slows down when playing with a lead. One thing is for sure, some young guys saw first hand, 2 games in a row, what happens in the NHL when you take your foot off the gas even just a little bit.

    However, I am not going to freak out if the Hawks start out stumbling a bit. Huge Cup win, short busy summer, long season ahead, Olympics will hit the Hawks as hard as anyone. No excuses, but the league is tight and EVERYONE will play with a little more motivation against the Hawks……..I can’t wait.

  8. Tab Bamford says:

    Mike: Look at the rosters in Pittsburgh last night. I’m not going to complain that Rockford lost to most of Pittsburgh’s A Team in a shootout…

  9. Morrison says:

    Yea, the rockford roster(29,4,27,8) basically won that 2-1 in regulation. Theres no shootouts in the playoffs.

  10. Nick says:

    How do people honestly think the leading scorer in the ahl can’t crack an NHL roster. TT isn’t strong or big enough yet and danault hasn’t even scored an ahl goal yet, let alone a Preseason goal. Pirri is going to be the second line center and making this roster.

  11. Tab Bamford says:

    re: Nick – How people honestly think Pirri doesn’t make the NHL roster has a lot to do with A) the team’s depth, B) the number of available spaces, and C) whether or not he’s healthy enough to contribute.

  12. wall says:

    Watched the Pens/Hawks today… I thought Shalunov was very impressive… really strong on lifting the stick ( stripped a few guys like a Young Hossa)- he doesn’t have Hossa’s speed… but wasn’t slow either… IMO- a 4th line of Shalunov-Kruger-Nordstrom would be pretty special next year (i know Shalunov has some learning to do)
    But I was really impressed. I think Smith and or Hayes will be surpassed by this kid very soon!

    Nordstrom continues to impress!
    Boo-Lin Wall will never win a shoot-out!!!

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