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
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.