The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 at the United Center on Tuesday in their fourth preseason game.
Here are 10 observations from the win:
1. Corey Perry scored his first and second unofficial goals with the Blackhawks, and yes it's still weird to see him in a No. 94 red sweater. He's the perfect net-front player for the power play. Skilled, good hands in tight areas, and hard to box out. He should help the Blackhawks in that area this season.
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2. Wyatt Kaiser deserves some praise on Perry's first goal for keeping the play alive when it looked like the puck was going to clear the zone. He played on his off side for the second straight game and kept the puck in on his backhand. He did something similar later in the period on the power play.
3. Connor Bedard showed some flashes again. He hasn't scored a real goal in three preseason games — he did score the empty-netter — but I'm not concerned at all. Neither is Blackhawks GM Kyle Davidson, who said as much on the NBC Sports Chicago intermission show. It's what Bedard does best, and he'll eventually break through. Once he does, the floodgates will probably open.
4. Petr Mrazek started in goal and played the whole game. He made some high-quality saves, perhaps his best one was on former Blackhawks forward Artem Anisimov from point-blank in the first period. He barely faced any shots in the next two periods. The Blackhawks tightened up on defense.
5. The Blackhawks went 0-for-6 on the power play in Detroit on Sunday, and it was more of the same in this game until Perry broke through in that department in the third period and scored his second of the game. Their third power play was significantly better than the first two. The Blackhawks didn't work on special teams very much at the beginning of camp, but they have started focusing on it more of late.
6. Connor Murphy scored a career-high seven goals last season. He picked up where he left off by ripping a 40-foot wrister past Michael Hutchinson top shelf. He's got a decent shot when he puts everything into it. He could've had a second goal in the third period but he hit the pipe.
7. The Blackhawks are going to have to make some tough roster decisions soon, and Boris Katchouk and MacKenzie Entwistle find themselves on the bubble. They were given a big opportunity to play on the third line, and I thought they played well. But Entwistle might lose sleep after this game over his missed chances. He fumbled the puck on a clear shorthanded 2-on-0 in the second period and then hit the post on a wide open net from Katchouk later on.
8. Kaiser has skated on the top pairing with Seth Jones basically all of training camp, but Alex Vlasic got his shot in this game to show whether he belongs there instead. I think both Kaiser and Vlasic will make the 23-man roster, and it's really about where they're slotted that's the question.
9. Andreas Athanasiou did not play because of an illness. Neither did Philipp Kurashev, who's out with a left wrist injury. He's expected to start skating soon, but he could miss another week, which could mean he might not be available for Opening Night in Pittsburgh on Oct. 10.
Ryan Donato was also a late scratch due to a groin injury. I'm not sure if this is correlated, but I did see him briefly talking to the trainer staff during morning skate. He returned to the ice and finished the skate, so it could just be the team and player being extra cautious.
10. Blackhawks head coach Luke Richardson said this game and Thursday's was and will be treated as preparation for Opening Night and that Saturday's preseason finale in St. Louis might not be a full lineup. I expect Thursday's lineup to look very close to the one that will be playing in Pittsburgh for the regular-season opener.