Saad’s hat trick helps Blackhawks win preseason home opener

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CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 10: Brandon Saad #20 of the Chicago Blackhawks celebrates after defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning 2 to 1 in Game Four of the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final at the United Center on June 10, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

by Scott King

Not only was Thursday night the Blackhawks’ preseason home opener, but a group that may closely resemble the regular season lineup was tossed out on the ice against the Detroit Red Wings.

The Hawks had won Tuesday’s first preseason game in Columbus 5-2 with mostly non-roster bound players.

The majority of the big guns were in for the Hawks Thursday night minus the captain Jonathan Toews, who was sick.

Ryan Hartman re-directed a Tanner Kero shot for the first goal of the exhibition game to put the Blackhawks up 1-0.

Brent Seabrook ripped a shot past Wings goaltender Petr Mrazek on the Hawks’ second power play in the second period to put Chicago up 2-0.

Alex DeBrincat added another goal later in the second period to put the Hawks up 3-0. DeBrincat, a 19-year-old who scored 127 points in the OHL last season, not only has a chance to make the team, but to make it as Patrick Kane’s linemate.

“If you don’t score for a while, maybe you grip the stick too hard,” DeBrincat said. “For me, it’s big to get that out of the way, and just continue playing my game.”

Brandon Saad kept the goal parade in town putting the Hawks ahead by 4.

Forward Michael Rasmussen scored for the Red Wings to get them on the board.

Saad scored again late in the second period to put the Hawks up 5-1, and scored again early in the third period to complete the hat trick and help Chicago win 6-1.

“I think you want to contribute as much as possible,” Saad said. “We have a lot of firepower in this room. That is the key to winning hockey games. For me to contribute and score as much as I can, that’s what I want to do.”

Goaltender Collin Delia started in the third period for the Hawks. Crawford stopped 30 of 31 shots in the first two periods. Delia saved all eight shots he faced in third.

Special Teams

The Hawks killed all seven penalties against them and scored on one of six power plays.

**Ticket giveaway for Saturday’s preseason game vs. Columbus

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