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THREE THINGS: Shaw Returns, Kubalik Double and Lehner Debut

Three takeaways from Chicago's 5-3 loss to Detroit on Tuesday night in preseason play

by Chris Kuc @ChrisKuc /

DETROIT - The Blackhawks were back in action in the second of three consecutive exhibition games, falling to the Red Wings 5-3 on Tuesday night at Little Caesars Arena.

Several familiar faces were in the lineup for the Blackhawks as Andrew Shaw, Robin Lehner, Alex DeBrincat and Connor Murphy all made the trip.

Here are three takeways:


In his second stint with the team, Andrew Shaw started on the top line along with Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat and flashed the kind of play the Blackhawks hope to get from the veteran forward in 2019-20.

Shaw, who spent the first five seasons of his career with the Blackhawks and helped them win Stanley Cups in '13 and '15 before being traded to the Canadiens in '16 only to return in a deal this summer, had an assist and three hits in 17:37 of ice time. Shaw also battled along the boards and drew an elbowing penalty from the Red Wings' Dylan McIlrath to give the Blackhawks a first-period power play. In the third, the veteran was involved in several shoving matches, showcasing some of the grit he can bring to a team.

Tweet from @NHLBlackhawks: Shawzy already drawing penalties. Power play time in Detroit! #CHIvsDET

"I thought that line was pretty effective," Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said. "(Shaw) did a really good job on the forecheck getting pucks back. It's an element that I think will be good with those two as far as getting after the opposing defensemen and finding a way to win some loose pucks and then those other two make a lot of plays so they had some good shifts."

Colliton went on to say that the trio could form a line during the regular season.

"It's an option, for sure," Colliton said. "We're going to try a few different combos throughout the lineup here in these games and I felt they played well enough to get another look."

Shaw has played both center and wing during his career and started on the right wing against the Red Wings. Still, Shaw took four faceoffs and won three of them. It's likely Shaw will see time at both positions for the Blackhawks this season.

"I'll play wherever they want me to play," Shaw said. "Center is the hardest position in hockey so you learn to respect all the great centers out there. In my younger years I played a lot of center. I'm still a faceoff-kind-of guy. I like taking faceoffs. I'm pretty good at it."


Vying to win a job up front, Dominik Kubalik had a big game for the Blackhawks. The winger has a knack for being around the net and it paid off in the second period when a rebound of a Carl Dahlstrom shot ended up on Kubalik's stick and the 24-year-old, who was acquired in a trade with the Kings last January, shoveled it in off his backhand.

Video: CHI@DET: Kubalik cleans up rebound with backhand

In the third, the Blackhawks were on the power play and Kubalik showcased his strong shot with a laser beam off a one-timer to tie the game at 3-3.

"It was my first game so obviously I wanted to show … a little bit that I can shoot (and) I can do some stuff," Kubalik said. "I felt pretty good (Tuesday night).

"I don't really hold the puck a lot," Kubalik added. "I'm just trying to put it on net every time I can and try to be around the net (where) there are always rebounds and stuff like that. That was pretty lucky that first one. It was a pretty good shift and it ended up like that."

Video: CHI@DET: Kubalik buries one-timer for second goal

Kubalik finished with the two goals on five shots in 17:27 of ice time.

"We knew he could shoot the puck but it was nice to see him get it off in those situations," Colliton said. "Of course, he scored the nice one-timer, everyone is going to talk about that, but he (also) went to the net and found a rebound, which as a goal-scorer if you can score those, too, it's going to help you."

There is a very possibility Kubalik ends up as a regular in the Blackhawks lineup, but said it's too early to consider the possibility.

"I don't think about it yet," he said. "It's still pretty far away-we're in training camp right now."


Robin Lehner, who signed a one-year, free-agent contract during the summer, made his Blackhawks debut. The 31-year-old Lehner got the start and yielded two goals on 17 shots before being replaced by Kevin Lankinen midway through the second period.

After making a strong glove save on a breakaway by Luke Glendening early on, Lehner allowed a score by Matt Puempel from long distance and Matthew Ford off a goal-mouth scramble.

"I felt like I did some good things," Lehner said. "The first goal obviously I have to have that but I felt like I made some good saves.

"It's the first game, early in camp," Lehner added. "It's going to get better and better. The puck slows down, you see the puck better with every practice."

Said Colliton of Lehner: "He's just getting into it. I thought he made some saves. They were in our end a lot the first half of the game and that was his. Hopefully, he's going to get back into game action and I felt Lankinen (19 saves) was really good also."

Video: Robin Lehner on first game with the Blackhawks


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