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Sunday, September 25, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Red Wings 4, Hawks 3

By Jesse Rogers

DETROIT -- A quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks' 4-3 preseason shootout loss against the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday at Joe Louis Arena.

How it happened: The Blackhawks battled to get to a shootout, but only Brandon Pirri could score in it. Detroit’s Todd Bertuzzi and Henrik Zetterberg scored to win it for the Red Wings. The Hawks trailed 2-0 and 3-1 but forced overtime thanks to two goals by center prospect Pirri. He scored one shorthanded and then tied the game midway through the third period. Two power-play goals by the Red Wings, both off faceoff wins, helped Detroit maintain the lead through most of the contest. Jimmy Hayes scored his first goal of the preseason for the Hawks. Nicklas Lidstrom produced his first points with a goal and assist on the Wings’ two power-play scores while Zetterberg also tallied for Detroit.

What it means: Alexander Salak was tested in a shootout for the first time and both Bertuzzi and Zetterbeg made beautiful moves on him to score. The Hawks fell to 1-3 in the preseason, but that means little. In all three of those losses, including Sunday, the Hawks played very few regulars, let alone their stars. However, a disturbing special teams trend is emerging. The Hawks haven’t scored a power-play goal in the preseason and gave up two more on Sunday. The Hawks were also abused in the faceoff circle at key moments and need to sharpen those aspects of their game before the regular season opener on Oct. 7. They should be able to do that in the final three preseason games when most of their regulars should play. The backup goalie battle is still undecided. Salak played admirably despite giving up three goals in regulation and the shootout tallies. He played the entire game. Expect Ray Emery to get some minutes this week in his final tryout before a decision is made on who plays behind Corey Crawford to begin the season.

What’s next: The Hawks get back to training camp on Monday before taking on the Red Wings at the United Center on Wednesday. Coach Joel Quenneville has intimated Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa could make their preseason debuts in the game.