Detroit scored first, with Thomas Vanek redirecting a puck past Blackhawks goalie Anton Forsberg for a 1-0 lead after one period. That was the only goal Forsberg allowed, making 13 saves while playing the first half of the game.
Chicago got on the board in the second after a nifty passing play from Nick Schmaltz to Brandon Saad to Patrick Kane.
More on them later.
Just 98 seconds after that goal, Mackenzie Entwistle, a 19-year-old forward acquired in the trade that sent Marian Hossa’s contract to the Arizona Coyotes, was sprung on an odd-man rush by David Kampf and Entwistle sniped one past Detroit goalie Jonathan Bernier to put the Hawks up 2-1.
Kampf was noticeable all night long in a strong statement from the young forward who’s looking to secure a spot on Chicago’s bottom six for the upcoming season.
Andreas Athanasiou tied the game at two with a goal in the middle of the second period. In the third period, Detroit broke the tie on an Evgeny Svechnikov goal and then Gustav Nyquist added an empty-netter for the final goal.
That Saad-Schmaltz-Kane line could be something.
This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone who’s watched the Hawks over the last few years, because these are three of the most offensively-gifted players on the team. And there are complimentary abilities at work here, because all three players have finishing ability to capitalize on scoring opportunities generated by any of their linemates. It’s the type of line that can catch fire and carry a team for weeks or months at a time during the regular season.
Adam Boqvist time.
Tuesday’s game was an up-and-down night. This one? Much more on the upside. First off, there was this defensive display, going toe-to-toe with one of Detroit’s fastest players and using excellent stick positioning to break up the scoring chance:
Then, in the second period, with Kane standing along the boards, near the goal line extended, Boqvist drove to the net and had a prime scoring opportunity after taking a pass in from Kane. That second play is what happens when two players who have incredibly high offensive IQs can get on the same page. Although Boqvist will be on the blue line while Kane’s up as a forward, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them build chemistry once they’re teammates.
Brandon Manning’s rough outing
If there’s one concern after Thursday’s game, it’s Brandon Manning getting torched by a few of Detroit’s speedy players, like the goal scored by Athanasiou. Compare Manning’s defense here to what Boqvist did above:
Yeah, it’s preseason and all that. But it’s not the type of play that’s going to inspire confidence in Manning’s ability to flourish in an increasingly-faster NHL.