- Jesse Rogers, Chicago Cubs beat reporter
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Saskatoon, Saskatchewan -- Here is a quick look at the Hawks' 4-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday:
How it happened: Jordan Eberle beat Steve Montador and then Alexander Salak late in the third period for the winning goal after the Hawks' power play failed to score at the other end moments earlier. The Hawks got down 2-0 in the second period after playing a solid opening 20 minutes but they stormed back with two goals, one by Rostislav Olesz and the other by Jamal Mayers, to tie the game after two periods. But despite an edge in play in the first and third periods the Hawks were unable to score more than those two goals.
What it means: This game wasn’t about results but evaluations. Mark McNeil, the Hawks' 2011 first-round pick, continues to show promise while making the play of the night for the Hawks. He kicked the puck to his stick and then found a streaking Mayers for the tying goal in the second. Olesz also impressed playing mostly with Jonathan Toews and Viktor Stalberg. Stalberg, trying to solidify his roster spot, had several good chances and was around the puck most of the night but couldn’t finish some good looks. That line was easily the best for the Hawks on the night, dominating in a third-period shift for over a minute in the offensive zone. On defense, Nick Leddy fought the puck some but no one stood out or embarrassed themselves other than a moment or two when he and John Scott had troubles clearing the zone.
Goalie battle: Ray Emery looked sharp in the opening period, especially late when the Oilers were on a power play. But he gave up two goals in the second as the Hawks were on their heels. At least one was saveable. Alexander Salak didn’t face as much pressure in his half of the game but looked calm and made the stops he had to until Eberle’s winner.
What’s next: The Hawks return to Chicago immediately for two practice sessions on Wednesday before heading back on the road Thursday to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Rapid Reaction: The Blackhawks lost their preseason opener to the Oilers 3-2.