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THREE THINGS: Shots Galore, Fun with OT and Shaping Up

Three takeaways after Chicago's 3-2 OT win over Boston on Saturday night

by Chris Kuc @ChrisKuc /

Patrick Kane scored the game-winner as the Blackhawks defeated the Bruins 3-2 in overtime in an Original Six preseason matchup Saturday night at the United Center.

Dylan Strome and Brandon Saad also scored for the Blackhawks to make a winner out of goaltender Robin Lehner.

Here are three takeways:


Despite the Bruins leaving most of their regular players in Boston, they generated 41 shots on goal with another nine blocked and eight that missed the net.

That is a lot.

"It was a game with a lot of action, a lot off the rush," Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said. "From our part, defensively, the chances we gave up were predominantly being loose with the puck. We were not clean when we could have been. There are going to be turnovers, but they should be only when you're still trying to do the right things and you just don't execute."

Kane said allowing that many attempts can be traced to the fact the intensity level of preseason games doesn't match regular-season tilts.

"Sometimes you want to tell yourself to get up for these games and make sure you're ready to play and treat it like a regular-season game but that's also tough," Kane said. "We're all using these games to get better. Obviously, we don't want to give up that many shots or that many Grade-A chances but I think that's why management went out and got another goaltender. You saw how good Robin (Lehner) was tonight. He's just a big guy in the net. He takes up a lot of space. I think he's going to be really good for our team."

Lehner made 39 saves, including two in overtime, and said he wasn't concerned with facing that many shots.

"I'm not too worried about the shots," Lehner said. "We're more worried about what type of shots and chances there is. For the first 10 minutes of the first (period) we played really well. Obviously, they had a push and we need to fix a few things."

Video: Kane's OT winner lifts Blackhawks past Bruins, 3-2


Kane and Jonathan Toews were a dynamic duo during the three-on-three overtime. The veterans used their time and space to create plenty of scoring chances and the Blackhawks finally cashed in when Kane scored off a rebound of a Connor Murphy shot. Toews also earned an assist after the puck ricocheted off Kane's chin and into the crease where the winger tapped it in.

"Three-on-three is fun," Kane said. "Me and Johnny have developed some chemistry over the years on three-on-three and I think we've been pretty good at it. Obviously, every time when you get to overtime it's not going to go your way but I think if you can dial that part of the game in those are some much-needed points."

Video: Kane on OT win vs. BOS


The Blackhawks lineup was a pretty good indicator of what the team could look like on Opening Night. Most of the expected regulars faced the Bruins with the possible exception of David Kampf, who watched while Anton Wedin got the call to center the third line alongside wingers Brandon Saad and Dominik Kubalik.

"We just want to see a lot of guys who can play center," Colliton said. "It's just an opportunity to show how versatile (Wedin) is and if it doesn't work out, it's not the end of the world. But I think he could be a good option for us even if he doesn't play there regularly. We want as many guys as possible who are comfortable down low, share the workload so we can play the way we need to play."

Colliton had fewer players to choose from as the Blackhawks trimmed the training camp roster to 32, including 18 forwards, 11 defensemen and three goaltenders.

Assigned to Rockford of the AHL on Saturday were forwards Dylan Sikura, Matthew Highmore, Brandon Hagel, Philipp Kurashev, Mikael Hakkarainen, Alexandre Fortin, Reese Johnson, MacKenzie Entwistle, defensemen Nicolas Beaudin, Joni Tuulola, Lucas Carlsson and goaltenders Matt Tomkins and Kevin Lankinen.

Colliton said he told the players trimmed from the roster to remain positive and bide their time.

"We told them the first meeting that we need a deep group," Colliton said. "That's what we feel we need to have to have a successful team. We need depth at all positions and competition and even if you don't make the team out of camp, it doesn't mean you're not going to be a part of it. Could be soon, could be down the road, but if we want to have playoff success we're going to have to dig deep into that depth to go any length of time. It's important whether it's now or if they don't make the team, they're in Rockford, continue to show their best side (and) perform well. You never know when the chance is going to come. So, first of all you want to be prepared, and second of all, when people are watching you want it to be the side of the game you want them to see."

"A lot of guys, they waste 2-3 weeks because they're sulking or whatever it may be," Colliton added. "They think they got a raw deal. And you know what, sometimes that is the case. Sometimes it's not the case, but it really doesn't matter, it has no effect. It's not important anymore. What's important is the next day and making sure you do everything you can to perform at a high level because everyone's got a story as far as why they didn't break through, why they didn't make it. Ultimately, you've got to earn your own way."

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