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Trending: Rasmussen gaining valuable experience with Wings

Mrazek faces 40 shots from Blackhawks for second time

by Arthur J. Regner and Dana Wakiji @ArthurJRegner and @Dwakiji /

DETROIT - The Red Wings don't get to face their Central/Norris Division rival, the Chicago Blackhawks, very often in the regular season so a preseason game against them can be entertaining.

The Blackhawks scored three times in the third period to take a 4-2 victory at Little Caesars Arena Thursday night.

Richard Panik, Tommy Wingels, Alex DeBrincat (power play) and Laurent Dauphin (empty net) were the goal scorers for Chicago while Michael Rasmussen (power play) and Libor Sulak had the goals for Detroit.

The Blackhawks make their lone regular season visit to Detroit on Jan. 25.

1. Michael Rasmussen: Originally the plan was to have Rasmussen play a few preseason games with the Wings and head back to captain his junior team, the Tri-City Americans. Eventually, the Wings' first-round pick, ninth overall, in last June's NHL draft, will make his way back to Kennewick, Washington to continue his junior hockey career, but for now he is a Red Wing. On Thursday against the Blackhawks, Rasmussen's extraordinary hand-eye coordination was on full display on Detroit's first goal, when he tipped Niklas Kronwall's shot from the blueline past Chicago goalie Anton Forsberg. It was a perfect tip-in by the gangly 6-foot-6 Rasmussen. He now has scored three goals in the preseason, tops on the Red Wings. In four preseason games, he has three total points, is minus-2 and has acquitted himself well against a cadre of NHL talent, especially on face-offs. Against Chicago, Rasmussen won 63 percent of his draws, winning 12 of 19 in the circle. If he builds off his impressive preseason with Detroit, once he returns to Tri-City, the 18-year-old Rasmussen has a legitimate chance to compete for a roster spot next season with the Wings.

Quotable: "It is definitely where I want to be and where I want to play. It's nice to be out here with these guys competing. I am pretty confident in myself and my abilities. I worked hard in the summer to get better. Personally, I am not surprised (with his preseason). I just try and come in everyday and work hard, that's kind of me." - Rasmussen

Quotable II: "What I would hope is that you give him this kind of time this year and maybe next year he comes ready to try and make the hockey team. How many guys are really helping teams win really the first year out of the draft? Not very many. Really helping teams win, you're talking about a top three pick usually. I think this gives him experience to hopefully build on, go back and have a great year, and then if he has a great year, then all of a sudden, he's had a great year, he's had a great training camp. Now he's starting to make a statement that he wants to try and make the team a year from now." - Wings coach Jeff Blashill    

2. Niklas Kronwall/Justin Abdelkader: Both Kronwall and Abdelkader were making their preseason debuts, returning from back spasms and a sore groin, respectively. They immediately figured into the Wings' first goal, on the power play, at :46 of the second period. Abdelkader sent the puck from behind the net to Kronwall at the point and Rasmussen deflected it. Abdelkader played 19:34, had two shots, three hits, one takeaway, one blocked shot and was minus-2. Kronwall played 19:31, had one hit and was even. Blashill said after the morning skate that both players are likely to play Saturday in Toronto.

Quotable: "I thought both guys played good. Obviously they hadn't been in games, so it's good to get them in real game action." - Blashill

3. Petr Mrazek : Although the Blackhawks didn't bring all of their top players, it was a good test for Mrazek, who faced 40 shots. The first goal came on a pass from Jonathan Toews to Richard Panik in the right circle at 13:50 of the second. Tommy Wingels scored on a similar play at 1:41 of the third on a pass from Vinnie Hinostroza. Mrazek faced the Blackhawks in Chicago a week ago and also faced 40 shots in that game.

Quotable: "I felt pretty good. I think for a goaltender it's important to have in preseason as many shots as he can. Those two games I played against Chicago had 40 and 40 shots. I think it's good." - Mrazek

Quotable II: "I think Petr's been really, really good. I think he's had two really hard games, both against Chicago. Tonight, I thought the lineups were more even. In Chicago, we were outmanned for sure and he had to be great just to keep us in it a little bit. He wanted to stay in the game going in the third period, so he did. I thought tonight he was excellent. You can't give up two backdoor goals. It's a no-way, no chance. You got to make sure you give him a chance to make the save. He was making so many saves, just keep giving him a chance to make those saves, so I thought he was excellent tonight." - Blashill

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