The first two periods were scoreless but had some standout moments. First, a neat pass from Phillipp Kurashev set up Lukas Reichel with a golden opportunity during the opening frame:
The Blackhawks penalty kill had some strong moments:
The second period became the Alex Stalock show as the Blackhawks were outshot 18-7 but did not fall behind on the scoreboard:
The Stalock Dam eventually broke, though, with Lucas Raymond setting up Jakub Vrana for a goal just 1:44 into the third period:
There was just no stopping Lucas Raymond on this play. pic.twitter.com/NhL4VW9bUq— NHL (@NHL) October 2, 2022
Detroit scored two more goals but we don’t care about those highlights so let’s get to the notes and then get the hell outta here.
- For two periods, there were plenty of great things to say about Alex Stalock’s play in net. Detroit finally broke through with a trio of goals in the third period, although the Blackhawks’ defensive play offered little help to Stalock in the final 20 minutes — or all night. Stalock’s only played one NHL game since the 2019-20 season, though, following a battle with myocarditis, so any NHL time is good time for him. He’s 35 and is expected to be the backup, though, so expectations should be kept to a minimum.
- The St. Louis Blues had the No. 2 power play in the NHL last season, so their thrashing of Chicago’s penalty kill in the preseason opener wasn’t too surprising. Facing a team with much less of a reputation for power play excellent, the Blackhawks’ new approach to shorthanded looked better. Guess we’ll see which is the exception and which is the rule once the season gets here.
- As one of the charter members of the Ethan del Mastro bandwagon, this clip felt great to see:
Far from a finished product, of course, but certainly an encouraging start for a 2021 fourth-round pick who’ll be a teenager until January.
- The primary thing to avoid during preseason hockey is an injury, so hopefully whatever it is that sent Reese Johnson and Boris Katchouk to the bench in pain ends up being minor in nature. Katchouk was especially noticeable as a forechecking menace.
- Lost 3-0 while being outshot 35-21. Chuck it in the bin and move on. The bad news, though, is that some of the Blackhawks’ regular-season games could look and feel a lot like this one.
The Blackhawks head to Milwaukee on Sunday night to face the Minnesota Wild evening for a 6:30 p.m. puck drop.