The Hawks completed the main objective of their last exhibition game; come out healthy. The Hawks will carry some momentum of a really good game play by their regulars into the Tuesday night's season opening game against these same Capitals.
The Caps tied the game when Mikhail Grabovski scored on a semi-breakaway. The Hawks regained the lead with Leddy's second goal of the game. Sharp picked up his second assist on the night and Ben Smith continued his impressive preseason by getting the secondary assist.
Marcus Johansson tied the game, at 3:42 of the 3rd period, with an assist from former Blackhawk Troy Brouwer. Jimmy Hayes (who is a spitting image of Ram from the movie Heathers) put the Hawks back on top at with a wrist shot at 6:52. Leddy and Andrew Shaw picked up the assists on the play.
Andrew Shaw ended the game by getting to the dirty area in front of the net and getting a blocked shot from Sheldon Brookbank past Holty. Brandon Saad got credit for the apple on the game winning goal.
The Blackhawks will see the Capitals again on Tuesday night, to start the regular season, after they raise the fifth Stanley Cup banner in team history.
*Nick Leddy proved what I have been saying for over a year; he needs to shoot more! Leddy has a great shot but it seems that he doesn't have much confidence in it.
*The coaching staff seems to be in love with Michael Kostka, which I have no problem with. In all honesty, I would rather throw him out there than Sheldon Brookbank when Michal Rozsival needs a breather.
*As much as I want to see Brandon Pirri get his chance with the Hawks I am getting the feeling that he will be starting the season in Rockford. He had two great shifts tonight, both in the final minute of the 1st and 2nd period. His turnover lead to the Johansson goal in the 3rd period, which most likely led to him finding an Ipass in his locker after the game. Even though it looks like Pirri won't start the season with the Hawks, I do think he will get plenty of chances to make the NHL squad.
*So he is taking Pirri's spot on the NHL roster? I can't believe I'm saying this, but it looks like it could be Joakim Nordstrom. Coach Q is infatuated with the kid. He played 2:16 with the top penalty kill unit and did a pretty good job. He also led the team with five hits on the night.