Game Preview: Blackhawks at Capitals
Throughout the 2011 preseason, chicagoblackhawks.com will preview each game with players to watch, notes and more.
The Blackhawks close out the 2011 preseason schedule with a game against the Washington Capitals.
TIME: 4 p.m. CT
VENUE: Verizon Center
BROADCAST INFO: WGN-TV / WGN Radio
Three Stars (Players to watch):
Patrick Kane: Patrick Kane won 6-of-9 faceoffs on Friday night against Pittsburgh, including 2-of-2 in the defensive zone and 4-of-6 against Penguins pivot Jordan Staal. Kane was one of just 15 point-per-game players in the NHL last season, notching a team-high 46 assists and ranking second on the club with 73 points in 73 tilts in 2010-11. Kane will play the third consecutive game of the preseason, where he has been centering a line with Andrew Brunette and Marian Hossa.
Brandon Pirri: Pirri netted both of Chicago’s goals in Friday’s loss to Pittsburgh and entered this weekend’s action tied for the NHL lead with four goals in the 2011 preseason. The 20-year old rookie leads the Blackhawks with five points (4G, A) in three games during the preseason.
Marcus Kruger: With Jonathan Toews (day off) and Dave Bolland (upper body injury) out of the lineup today, Kruger could see top-six minutes at center today against Washington. The 21-year-old Swede played in seven regular-season and 5 playoff games with the Blackhawks last season, and may make the opening night roster.
Know the enemy (Opponent Report): The Capitals enter today's game with a 2-3-1 record this preseason. Washington has not released its roster for the game, but it is expected that goaltender Michael Neuvirth will get the start.
Fun Fact: Joel Quenneville's regular-season points percentage of .640 is the best in Chicago franchise history, while his .609 postseason winning percentage (28-18) is the highest for a Blackhawks coach since 1940.