For the second time in as many nights, a Blackhawks preseason game ended in a shootout. This time, however, the Hawks earned the victory.
Jonathan Toews played in his first preseason game and scored the only goal in the shootout to secure the win. He won 12 of 21 faceoffs in the game and was credited with one assist and one takeaway as well. Even with the overtime period, Toews only skated 17:17 as he continues to work past a hip flexor issue that had kept him out of games until Friday night.
Toews was one of few veterans in the lineup. The Hawks skated Marcus Kruger (who wore an “A” in the game), Sheldon Brookbank, Nick Leddy and Brandon Bollig with a group of players that will likely be in Rockford by this time next week.
Up front, Jimmy Hayes and Jeremy Morin played another very good game. They continue to make a strong case to be on the ice on Oct. 1 when the Hawks host these same Capitals… and raise a banner. Morin scored early in the second period, while Hayes once again filled the stat sheet with three hits, two takeaways and an assist.
Drew LeBlanc once again struggled at the dot, winning only three of nine faceoffs and seeing only 14:50 on the ice. The only Blackhawks forwards to see less ice time in the game than LeBlanc were Kyle Beach and the team’s two first round picks from the 2011 Draft, Mark McNeill and Phillip Danault.
For his part, Danault won four of 10 faceoffs and was credited with three hits in the game, but clearly needs to get stronger on his skates. McNeill had the lowest ice time total on the roster for Chicago, and was credited with only three shots on goal. Both players will spend a year in Rockford adjusting to the speed – and size – of the pro game.
Beach chipped in three hits and five penalty minutes in the game.
Defenseman Dylan Olsen had a good game after a suicide pass behind the net almost got Leddy killed in the first period. He skated 21:21 and was credited with one goal, one assist and two hits in the game.
Adam Clendening showed some really good instincts with the puck on a number of occasions, making it easy to see why the organization holds him in such high regard. He was credited with an assist on Bollig’s goal in the second period and spend over two minutes on power play duty. Clendening was also credited with two blocked shots and two hits in the game.
Klas Dahlbeck didn’t make much of a dent in the box score – one assist and one hit – but he had a good game as well. He took away space and move the puck efficiently; he was credited with the only assist on Morin’s goal.
Leddy played nearly 25 minutes in the game, leading all Blackhawks on the night. After the game, Joel Quenneville complimented his play; Leddy was credited with one takeaway and four shots on net in the game.
Ryan Hartman, the team’s first round pick in the 2013 Draft, played over 17 minutes and looked better as the game progressed. He was credited with the secondary assist on Bollig’s goal and won one of his two faceoffs in the game. Friday was Hartman’s 19th birthday.
In net, Antti Raanta looked good in spite of allowing four goals against 30 shots. He was beaten by a fantastic passing sequence on Washington’s first goal, scored by All Star Nicklas Backstom. The fourth Washington goal was a missile off the stick of Alexander Ovechkin while the Caps were on a power play.
Raanta’s rebound control was good and he stoned a few good opportunities, including Ovechkin on a breakaway in the final minute of regulation. In the shootout, he made saves against Jason Chimera, Ovechkin and Backstrom to get the win.
All four of Washington’s preseason games have ended in a shootout.
Brandon Pirri, who has not played in the preseason yet, skated earlier on Friday.