Throughout the 2011 preseason, the chicagoblackhawks.com will preview each game with players to watch, notes and more.
The Blackhawks head to Detroit to take on the Central Division rival Red Wings.
Three Stars (Players to watch):
Jamal Mayers: Mayers made his presence felt Friday night against Washington, most notably providing the "sandpaper" that Head Coach Joel Quenneville talked about when he stood up for rookie Brandon Saad against the Capitals' Danny Richmond in the second period. Look to Mayers to be called upon to defend the younger lineup today if things start getting physical early on.
Viktor Stalberg: After coming off a stellar two-goal performance Friday, Stalberg will be back in the lineup for Chicago Sunday afternoon. The 25-year-old Swede scored 24 points (12G, 12A) in 77 games last season, and with a year a a Blackhawk under his belt, he will look to improve upon those numbers in 2011-12.
Ray Emery / Alexander Salak: Sunday marks the third game in four that Emery and Salak will share the crease in the battle for the backup goalie position. With only three games to go in the preseason after today, and with the need for top goaltender Corey Crawford to see more ice time as the regular season draws near, each goalie will need to bring their best game today if they want to secure the coveted NHL roster spot.
Rising Star (Must-watch prospect): Brandon Saad came through for the Blackhawks Friday night, tallying a goal and an assist on his way to being the first star of the game. Though he should still be considered a darkhorse to make the opening night roster, the 2011 second-round pick is showing great promise and poise for the future.
Know the enemy (Opponent Report): The Red Wings are 1-2-0 in the preseason, after most recently splitting a pair of exhibition games against Philadelphia Thursday and Friday. Their roster for the day has not yet been released.
Fun Fact: Forward Ben Smith scored his first career NHL on Apr. 8, 2011 in Detroit.
39 J. Hayes