Blackhawks 3, Capitals 2

Rookie Brandon Saad scored with 3:21 left in the third period to

snap a tie, and the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Washington

Capitals 3-2 on Friday night for their first preseason win.

Set up by Jonathan Toews, Saad drove to the net and beat

Washington’s Tomas Vokoun with a high shot from the left edge of

the crease for the game-winner.

Viktor Stalberg scored two goals early in the third period for

Chicago. Saad set up Stalberg’s first score.

Joel Ward and Matt Hendricks connected for Washington.

Formerly with Nashville, Ward scored for the first time since

signing a four-year, $12 million free agent contract with the

Capitals in the offseason.

Both starting goalies – Chicago’s Corey Crawford and

Washington’s Vokoun – made first their appearances of the preseason

and played the entire game. Crawford stopped 24 shots and Vokoun

made 23 saves.

Vokoun, signed a one-year, $1.5 million free agent contract with

Washington over the summer after four seasons with Florida. The

35-year-old is expected to compete for starting goalie duties with

23-year-old Michal Neuvirth.

Several of the Blackhawks’ top skaters, including defensemen

Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Niklas Hjalmarsson, and forwards

Andrew Brunette and Dave Bolland played their first games of the

preseason. Brunette made his first appearance as a Blackhawk after

signing as a free agent over the summer.

Ward scored the only goal of the first with 6:18 left in the

period when he parked in front of Crawford and deflected Alex

Ovechkin’s shot from the point.

Stalberg put Chicago ahead 2-1 early in the third with goals on

consecutive shifts. Stalberg scored from right side of the crease

to tie it at 1 at 3:24 of the third to complete a 2-on-1 break with

Saad.

Stalberg put Chicago ahead 2-1 at 6:56 when he circled behind

the Washington net and banked the puck in off Vokoun’s stick.

Hendricks tied it at 2 with 7:38 left in the third. He burst

past the Chicago defense and lofted a backhand past Crawford.

Notes: The Blackhawks assigned 11 players to Rockford of the AHL

on Friday, including David Toews, younger brother of team captain

Jonathan Toews. … Before the game, the Blackhawks observed a

moment of silence for the victims of the Sept. 7 plane crash in

Russia that killed members of the KHL’s Yaroslavl Lokomotiv team.

Among those killed in the accident were former Blackhawks Alexander

Karpovtsev and Igor Korolev. … Chicago star forward Patrick Kane,

who underwent surgery on his left wrist in July, has yet to play in

a preseason game.