It may only be preseason, but hockey is back! The Blackhawks played the first of seven tune-ups tonight in Washington, falling in overtime by a score of 4-3. There were sloppy moments on defense, but some key players who are gunning for opening night roster spots made their presence known. We’ve got you covered with all the highlights right here with the game in GIFs.
Aleksi Saarela, who was acquired from Carolina in the Anton Forsberg and Gustav Forsling for Calvin de Haan trade over the offseason, opened the scoring by getting a piece of an Erik Gustafsson shot out front. Alexander Nylander, who was acquired from Buffalo for Henri Jokiharju, helped set up the play by controlling the puck on the half-wall and dishing to Gustafsson.
Kris Versteeg, who is beginning his third stint with the Blackhawks organization, got in deep but couldn’t capitalize midway through the first.
Dylan Sikura, who can’t seem to buy an NHL goal, was denied once again on a shorthanded attempt.
As time expired in the first period, Brendan Perlini had his wraparound bid denied.
Just over two minutes into the middle frame, Washington evened the scoring thanks to the Hawks defense getting out of sorts. Damien Riat netted the first Capitals goal.
Collin Delia had some good moments and some rough moments in this game, but this next save had to be his best.
Alexander Nylander got on the score sheet again at the 4:09 mark of the second period. This goal out front of the net was extremely encouraging to see, as one of his biggest knocks to date in his career has been an unwillingness to go to the dirty areas.
Washington’s Travis Boyd found a soft area in the Blackhawks penalty kill to bury the tying goal.
Some more positional woes from the Blackhawks in their own zone resulted in the Capitals taking the lead about a minute and a half after they had scored the equalizer. Aliaksi Protas lit the lamp to make it happen.
Amidst a dominant Capitals second-period stretch, they almost took a two-goal lead, but Erik Gustafsson was positioned in the line of the shot.
Adam Boqvist put his offensive prowess on display once again as he corralled a fluttering puck, settled it down, skated behind the net to an open area, and then sniped top shelf to tie this game back up.
Erik Gustafsson may not be sound defensively, but he loves to go to work in the offensive zone. Here, he generates a pair of chances as he walks in from the half-wall.
Collin Delia was able to keep the game tied at three for the time being with this save through traffic.
In the extra frame, newly-signed free agent forward Ryan Carpenter nearly won the game for the Hawks after Gustafsson sprung him with a nice pass from the red line.
On the defensive end, Nicolas Beaudin bailed out Collin Delia with a superb break up on a wraparound attempt.
On the next Washington rush, Tom Wilson got around Dylan Sikura, a forward attempting to skate in a defensive position, to bury the game-winning goal.
The Blackhawks will play the second contest of their stretch that entails three games in as many days tomorrow night at Detroit. A few of tonight’s skaters will likely suit up again, but expect plenty of fresh faces as the Blackhawks coaching staff will want to take a look at the other names competing for roster spots.
Featured Photo: NHL.com