The Chicago Blackhawks kicked off the 2021 preseason with a 4-3 shootout loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night at the United Center.
Detroit grabbed an early lead before Dominik Kubalik scored the first goal of the game for Chicago, taking in a neat pass from Philipp Kurashev before backhanding one into the net:
KUBALIK GOAL— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) September 30, 2021
We are tied at 1! pic.twitter.com/vNV43HiVHK
Early in the second period, Brandon Hagel gave the Hawks the lead:
Another defensive breakdown by Detroit puts the Hawks up 2-1.— Nolan Bianchi (@nolanbianchi) September 30, 2021
Dach draws in Alex Cotton and Carter Rowney, then finds a wide-open Brandon Hagel to give Chicago a lead #LGRW pic.twitter.com/MMylYlL59W
Jujhar Khaira made it a 3-1 Chicago lead when he redirected a Connor Murphy point shot into the net, just 1:37 after Hagel’s goal.
Mitchell Stephens scored 28 seconds later to make it a 3-2 game and that lead remained until the 1:51 mark of the final period, when Bobby Ryan scored to send the game into overtime. After an entertaining but scoreless 3-on-3 overtime, Detroit clinched its win on Ryan’s shootout goal past Kevin Lankinen.
Here’s the goal Toews scored in the shootout:
Jonathan Toews’ shootout goal live: pic.twitter.com/FoZ1ecpr3m— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) September 30, 2021
Lukas Reichel also had a nifty move:
Reichel makes it look easy on the shootout#Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/Q8TjFBLhKC— Austin Pedue (@BlackhawksDzone) September 30, 2021
- Jonathan Toews was on the ice for a Blackhawks game for the first time in over a year. That, alone, made this night a pleasant viewing. He skated 22:48 and was 15-for-21 in faceoffs. Toews continues to say he’s not all the way back just yet but he didn’t seem too far away during this game.
- Adam Gaudette was quite noticeable this evening. He did not score a goal but was second on the team with six shots on goal (Hagel led with eight) in 15:31 of ice time. Gaudette will need more performances like that to stand out, but it was a good start for him.
- Kurashev became a favorite of the SCH staff during last season and offered a few reminders of his ceiling against the Red Wings. His nifty pass to Kubalik set up the first goal of the game and he nearly dangled his way through the entire defense later in the game. Like Gaudette, Kurashev will need more nights like this one to break camp with the team but he certainly took advantage of the 21:45 of ice time he was given on Wednesday — second only to Toews’ 22:48 among Blackhawks forwards.
- Kevin Lankinen gave up a rather soft goal to Stephens and had multiple instances of appearing to lose the puck in his pads, resulting in him falling onto his back to ensure it hadn’t rolled free. Small sample and all the usual preseason caveats apply here but there’s certainly a chance for Malcolm Subban and Collin Delia to raise some eyebrows if they can perform better in their gametime.
- The power play didn’t score but it did move the puck a decent amount and generated a healthy amount of shots and chances. Of course, it’s not worth getting too worked up about any Blackhawks power play in a game that did not include Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat.
The Blackhawks remain at the United Center and will host the St. Louis Blues on Friday night for a 7:30 p.m. start.