The Chicago Blackhawks reversed their fortunes from their first game of the preseason, beating the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 on Wednesday. The Blackhawks accomplished the feat, likely a rarity in the regular season, in Detroit.
Just 11 seconds into the game, Dylan Sikura welcomed himself back to the Blackhawks organization by scoring his first goal of the preseason:
It took Dylan Sikura 44 games to score his first career NHL goal and he just scored 11 seconds into his second stint with Chicago, albeit in the preseason.— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) September 28, 2022
Of course! #Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/RyWTbPf5xA
Adam Erne of the Red Wings followed that goal with one of his own a little over a minute later.
Before the first period was halfway done, Lukas Reichel answered Erne’s goal in turn. Fed by a pass from seventh overall pick Kevin Korchinski, Reichel got the puck past Alex Nedeljkovic before Nedeljkovic was pulled in the middle of the second period.
Jujhar Khaira would answer another Red Wings goal from Erne a little over halfway through the game, after Khaira was responsible for the primary assist on Sikura’s goal.
Alec Regula's shot from the point is cleaned up by Jujhar Khaira. #Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/aaWEOOCd7A— Charlie Roumeliotis (@CRoumeliotis) September 29, 2022
Khaira was in the right position to make a play on the man advantage, welcoming himself back to the organization as well after a back injury kept him out much of last season.
This game was a story of the Blackhawks’ bottom six likely cast, as Sam Lafferty made a nifty play to go from the Blackhawks’ defensive zone to putting in an empty-net goal, bringing the final score to 4-2.
- Kevin Korchinski, after playing Tuesday night’s game as well as 18:13 of this one, came away with a nice primary assist and increased his sample size as an impressive prospect so far in the preseason. Korchinski needs to clean up the giveaways — he coughed the puck up twice Wednesday — but he’s looking good. Keep this kid far away from this team this regular season, but Korchinski could be making an impact sooner rather than later.
- Sam Lafferty and Jujhar Khaira each had two points on the night, and they’ll look to be filling roster spots this season. Nice to see down-the-lineup contributors come up big when they were each given more minutes.
- For a guy getting compared (prematurely) to Andrew Shaw, Samuel Savoie is certainly taking a lot more punishment — five hits taken — than he’s dishing out — three hits distributed. With just 13:48, Savoie’s most noticeable numbers were in terms of physicality, with hits and shots blocked (1) being the only categories contributed to.
- Straight up just a quiet game for most of the roster, as Korchinski and Reichel were the big names in terms of prospects on this lineup and each came away with a solid point, connecting on a goal. Philipp Kurashev also came away with an assist on that same goal and 17:03, so there’s nothing to complain about there either.
- The really particular stand out was Arvid Soderblom in net, who, as opposed to his regular season performances last season, actually looked good Wednesday. Soderblom finished with a .939 save percentage, allowing just two goals and making all four stops on the penalty kill. That’s compared to 2.21 expected goals against, meaning a positive night in that regard. The IceHogs should have fun with him in net this season.
- A nice, quiet night before the onslaught of the regular season. Take the breaks as they come.
The Blackhawks host the Red Wings on Saturday at the United Center at 7:30 p.m. After this lineup that featured two returning players, expect to see a few faces from this game play Saturday but mostly a new lineup.