by Scott King
It was just a Blackhawks preseason game Wednesday night against the visiting Washington Capitals, but the 6-0 loss wasn’t pretty.
Center Liam O’Brien tipped in the first goal of the game for the Capitals 4:45 into the contest.
John Carlson gave Washington a 2-0 lead at 17:40 of the first with a blast from the point.
Winger Tom Wilson made it 3-0 Caps scoring on a 2-on-1 during a Blackhawks power play at 4:55 of the second period.
Andrew Shaw fought Tyler Lewington after Shaw put a big hit on Washington’s Martin Fehervary that sent him flying into the boards in the second.
Lars Eller deflected a shot past Crawford to make it 4-0 at 11:33 of the second.
Jakub Vrana made it 5-0 at 11:55 of the third period.
Eller scored his second of the game to make it 6-0 for the final score with five minutes remaining in regulation.
The Hawks finished the preseason tilt 0-for-4 on the power play but managed to kill both of Washington’s man advantages.
“It’s got to light a fire for us,” Toews said of the lopsided loss. “Even if you don’t have your jump, you don’t have your legs, you don’t have your speed – which was obvious tonight – we got to find to find ways to be better and maintain puck control, make some simple plays, keep it in their end, just simplify.”
Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton agreed the team lacked energy on Wednesday.
“Well, we didn’t have it,” Colliton said. “You could tell. We couldn’t sustain it. We have a shift here or there where we got going, found a way to get a forecheck, force a turnover, the power play took momentum from us as opposed to building with it.
“On another night, usually we’d have a good shift, draw a penalty, score on the power play and then everyone’s buzzing, feeling good about themselves, and it was the opposite tonight. So yeah, I’m not concerned that that’s going to lead into the season.
“I just think tonight, guys had a tough time getting going and that’s not what we want and it’s not an excuse. That’s the reality of it.”
With prospects from the Rockford IceHogs, the team’s AHL affiliate, playing in Boston on Saturday, the Hawks are on their way to Europe. The Blackhawks will play an exhibition game in Germany on Sunday and the season opener will be in Prague on Thursday (Oct. 4) against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Goalie Collin Delia backed Crawford up Wednesday with Robin Lehner (hip injury) missing practice and the game.
Forward Zack Smith (lower back) missed Wednesday’s practice and the game as well.
John Quenneville (hip) had a light skate before practice.
Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman said center Kirby Dach (concussion), the Hawks’ number three overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, will join Chicago on the trip to Europe, but it’s unlikely he’ll play.
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