Blackhawks pull Ward early in high-scoring preseason game
by Scott King
Blackhawks goaltender Cam Ward was scheduled to log a full game between the pipes in Tuesday’s preseason contest vs. the Detroit Red Wings in Chicago. Corey Crawford (concussion symptoms) has been consistently getting work in on the ice before team practices but is unlikely for the season opener on October 4 in Ottawa.
Thomas Vanek put one past Ward 16 seconds into the contest. It was Detroit’s first shot on goal. Matthew Highmore tied the game 1-1 just after Detroit’s goal was being announced. He deflected a Brent Seabrook shot.
The Wings also scored on their second shot of the game. Andreas Athanasiou went glove-side on Cam Ward. Ward went on to stop seven of the nine shots he faced in the first.
Late in the first period, Dominik Kahun swatted in a Duncan Keith shot to tie the game 2-2. Kahun has two goals and two assists this preseason. Kaun, 23, looked sharp skating next to Toews opposite Alex DeBrincat on the Hawks’ top line.
“Yeah, I mean in camp I think you can see who’s got skill,” Toews said. “Who can move, who can skate, who can handle the puck, you get into games you see a guy like Dominik has all that, but he had a lot of hockey sense too.
“So as a line, just try to talk about some little things. I guess I’ve been known to put too much in some guys’ heads sometimes, but we had some talks this morning as far as where we wanted to play with the puck and he went out there and he was in all the right areas. So nice to see him get one early in the game. I thought he played great in a lot of ways.”
Darren Helm scored at 5:38 in the second period.
Jonathan Toews scored a power play goal at 7:40 in the second to it up 3-3.
Anthony Mantha scored around the midway point of the second period to give Detroit their fourth goal in 13 shots. Givani Smith, and Athanasiou added second period goals. And Toews got on the board again with a tip-in for Chicago, who trailed after the second 6-4.
Anton Forsberg was in net to start the third period for Chicago after Ward allowed six goals on 17 shots through two periods.
“Not good,” Ward said of his performance. “Definitely was a rough game personally. Obviously got off to a rough start right from the get go. They got a fortunate bounce right in front and put it in. Unfortunately just wasn’t able to get comfortable throughout the game.
“It was just one of those games. Whether it’s preseason or not, you want to put forth a good outing and a good effort. Tonight just wasn’t the night and I’m going to do what I can to flush it away and not let it ruin my training camp and just get ready for the next one.”
“It’s one game, 40 minutes, preseason game.” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said of Ward’s game. “We’ll throw it out in the basket. I think goaltending tonight, pucks were going in at both ends in an abnormal rate. You have a few games like that over the course of a season. Good thing it’s preseason.”
Nick Schmaltz scored off a feed from Patrick Kane early in the third period.
Forsberg was beat by the first shot he faced later in the period from Dylan Larkin at 4:23 in the third to give Detroit a 7-5 lead.
Duncan Keith ripped a shot near the blueline to bring Chicago within one.
The puck found Vanek all alone in front of Forsberg and he scored his second of the game on a backhand.
The Hawks would fall 8-6.
The Band Back Together
Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook played in their first preseason game Tuesday night. Keith had a goal and two assists and Seabrook snagged a helper.
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