<
>

Rapid Reaction: Penguins 4, Blackhawks 3

9/20/2013

CHICAGO -- Here’s a quick look at the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 4-3 shootout win over the Chicago Blackhawks in a preseason game at the United Center on Thursday.

How it happened: The Blackhawks rallied from a 3-1 deficit to force overtime. The Penguins scored once and stopped all three of the Blackhawks’ chances in the shootout.

Ben Smith scored a short-handed goal to pull the Blackhawks within a goal in the second period, and Brandon Bollig tied the game with a goal at 13:07 of the third period.

Sidney Crosby, Joe Vitale and Derrick Pouliot scored for the Penguins in regulation. Goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin made his first start for the Blackhawks and stopped 27 of 30 shots. Patrick Sharp also scored for the Blackhawks. The Blackhawks failed to convert on six power-play opportunities and haven’t scored on 12 power plays through two preseason games. The Blackhawks did kill 4 of 5 power plays.

What it means: Smith built off a strong first preseason game and scored his second goal in as many games. It probably helped his stock to score a short-handed goal, too. He is one of the players being considered on the penalty kill. Sharp also tallied his second goal of the preseason. He’s had a quality training camp. Bollig’s offense game has also been noticeable throughout camp. The Blackhawks haven’t had Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa in the first two games, but the power play still has to be a concern, especially after the team’s struggles there the past two seasons.

Blackhawks' player of the game: Smith had a goal, an assist, a plus-2 rating, three takeaways and two blocked shots.

Up next: The Blackhawks will play their first road preseason game on Friday against the Washington Capitals. They travel to Detroit to play the Red Wings on Sunday.