The Blackhawks open their seven-game preseason slate tonight in Washington against the reigning Metropolitan Division-champion Capitals. It is the first of a three-games-in-three-days preseason stretch that concludes with a home-and-home series against the Red Wings on Tuesday in Detroit and Wednesday at the United Center.
"It's good to get into games," head coach Jeremey Colliton said after morning skate. "We're trying to give guys a way to separate themselves one way or another, so it's going to be fun to see how the guys perform. I'm sure they'll be some exciting things to talk about after."
"There are (a lot) young guys coming in, playing a tough team (and) in Washtington too," defenseman Erik Gustafsson said. "A lot of experience for the young guys coming in here. I think play D first and see what happens after that."
BLACKHAWKS DEFEAT BLACKHAWKS
In the annual Training Camp Festival scrimmage Sunday at the United Center, Team Red topped Team White, 5-1, with goals from Brandon Saad, Anton Wedin, Alex Nylander, Olli Maatta and Tyler Sikura. Veteran Kris Versteeg scored the lone goal for Team White.
2018-19 SEASON SERIES
The Blackhawks split the two-game series last season, including an 8-5 win on Jan. 20 with Jonathan Toews (3G, 2A) and Patrick Kane (2G, 3A) each registering five points on the night. The Capitals took the opening meeting on Nov. 21 in Washington, 4-2.
With 55 players in camp and the busy upcoming schedule, Chicago is set to take a roster largely filled with young prospects to Washington. The Capitals are expected to field a similar prospect-heavy lineup as well.
Six players on tonight's roster spent considerable time with the Blackhawks a year ago: Brendan Perlini, David Kampf, Dylan Sikura, Carl Dahlstrom, Erik Gustafsson and Slater Koekkoek.