DETROIT -- It's never easy in the first exhibition game, especially coming off a very hard training camp.
But the Detroit Red Wings managed to stave off any fatigue to defeat the Chicago Blackhawks, 5-3, at Little Caesars Arena Tuesday night.
The Wings are now 1-0 while the Blackhawks, who were playing their second preseason game, fell to 0-1-1.
Matt Puempel, Matthew Ford, Chris Terry, Michael Rasmussen (power play) and Luke Glendening (empty net) scored for the Wings.
Philip Holm and Dominik Kubalik (two, one on power play) scored for the Blackhawks.
Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard stopped 7-of-8 shots in the first half of the game while Calvin Pickard made 15-of-17 saves.
Chicago goalie Robin Lehner made 15-of-17 saves while Kevin Lankinen stopped 19-of-21 shots.
Up next, these two teams meet again Wednesday night in Chicago at the United Center.
1. Michael Rasmussen: It's a little bit hard to imagine a 6-foot-6, 229-pound guy getting stronger but that can happen as you go from being a big teenager into a big adult, which is what Rasmussen is becoming at age 20. Rasmussen has always been a strong net-front presence, particularly on the power play, but added strength will help him in holding onto the puck while fending off defenders around the net. Late in the third period with the game knotted at 3-3, the Wings got a power play when Jacob Nilsson was sent off for holding the stick. Rasmussen got the puck at the net and backhanded it past Lankinen for the go-ahead goal at 15:23. Taro Hirose and Evgeny Svechnikov assisted. Rasmussen, who was centering those two, finished with 21 shifts for 16:42, had three shots, two hits, one takeaway, one blocked shot, was 3-for-6 on face-offs and was minus-1.
Quotable: "We were getting some chances there on the power play. I just got it in front, tried to go to my backhand and I think it went off the D-man. Good play by Taro and good late goal, I guess. I think I'm stronger on the puck and I'm just stronger with my skating. Today was a step. I just gotta keep moving forward and have a good preseason." -- Rasmussen
Quotable II: "I think that's what can really separate him. I've said this from Day 1, he's a real good net-front power play guy. He knows how to screen the goalie, he knows how to present his stick, he's got pretty soft hands in those areas. We'll keep working on trying to find different ways to be super-dangerous when he gets the puck there. It's a typical Michael Rasmussen-type goal and the impact that he can have on the game can be definitely helped with his power-play game." -- Wings coach Jeff Blashill
Quotable III: "I think he put some weight on, gained some strength this summer. I think he's a little more confident. He looks good. That was a huge goal for us after we had just given one up on the penalty kill. Good for him." -- Glendening
2. Evgeny Svechnikov: Svechnikov is making his return after missing all of last season with a knee injury. In the preseason last year, Svechnikov tore his right anterior cruciate ligament and needed reconstruction surgery last October. Although there was originally some thought that he could return by the end of the season and possibly play for the Griffins in the playoffs, Svechnikov just was not ready. Although not where he wants to be yet, Svechnikov had some notable moments against the Blackhawks. In the first period, the Blackhawks had an outnumbered rush until Svechnikov came in hard on the backcheck to prevent the scoring chance. Midway through the second, Rasmussen found Svechnikov for a shot but Lehner made the stop. Svechnikov assisted on Rasmussen's game-winner. He finished with 17 shifts for 12:30, had three shots, two hits, one takeaway, was 0-for-1 in face-offs and was even.
Quotable: "Amazing. It felt like I'm in there for first time, like a kid, like going into first grade. Amazing feeling. Even better to win the game and just be with the guys. There's no better feeling. Overall I feel I wasn't there myself yet. The thing is gonna take a little more time. But you know I had a couple of chances. I could score on one shot there but the goalie came through. That's all I can do. He made a pretty good save. We had a couple more chances on the power play but I felt overall I can be a little bit better there. My stride is not there yet and I can still feel the knee." -- Svechnikov
Quotable II: "I thought Svech played pretty good. He didn't play tons of minutes, but I thought he played pretty good. You're out a full year, you have major surgery on your knee, it's hard. He's worked really hard, he's a great kid and I thought overall he did a good job. Just knowing that he played well and have a positive impact on the game is a real confidence booster." -- Blashill
Quotable III: "I thought he looked good. He had a great backcheck there. He had some great opportunities on the power play. He's a strong, strong kid so I knew he'd be all right. I thought he played well." -- Glendening
Quotable IV: "I thought he played awesome. I thought he always works his bag off. He always tries so hard, works so hard. He got robbed there pretty good on the power play but he played really well. I'm really happy for him." -- Rasmussen
3. Patrik Nemeth : With a defenseman like Nemeth, you aren't necessarily looking to his point totals to gauge his effectiveness. Against the Blackhawks, Nemeth did pick up an assist on Glendening's empty-net goal at 19:00 of the third but it was his defensive play that had people talking afterward. Of the Wings' 12 blocked shots, Nemeth had a fourth of them. Glendening and Terry each had two. During training camp in Traverse City, Blashill said that Nemeth blocks shots "for fun." Last season Glendening was the only Wing with more than 100 blocked shots, leading the team with 102. For the Colorado Avalanche last season, Nemeth had 131. He finished the game with 22 shifts for 20:23, had two shots, one hit, the three blocks and was even.
Quotable: "He's awesome. We're going to have to see who can block more this year. That guy, he's great at blocking shots. He's a great add for our team." -- Glendening
Quotable II: "Nemeth, that's awesome. I don't know how many blocks he had but they were big ones and they were stepping out and … he's a good blocker. Our penalty kill is going to be better because he knows how to kill. You got to block shots and he's great at it. Somebody told me that at one of the summer skates, he blocked 15 shots. He doesn't flinch. He blocked a shot in practice this morning that I was like 'I don't know if we need to be doing that.' But that's just what he does." -- Blashill