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game preview

Blackhawks close preseason home slate against Penguins

Thursday, 09.29.2011 / 11:30 PM

Brad Boron - chicagoblackhawks.com

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Blackhawks close preseason home slate against Penguins
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Throughout the 2011 preseason, chicagoblackhawks.com will preview each game with players to watch, notes and more.

The Blackhawks finish off their 2011 preseason home slate with a tilt against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

TONIGHT'S GAME

TIME: 7:30 p.m. CT

VENUE:
United Center

BROADCAST INFO:
CSN / WGN Radio

Last Game: The Blackhawks rallied from a 3-1 deficit to defeat the Detroit Red Wings, 4-3. Patrick Kane recorded a goal and an assist in his preseason debut, Duncan Keith added three assists and Marian Hossa scored the game-winning goal in the third period. Corey Crawford made 17 of 20 saves for the victory, his second of the exhibition season.

Three Stars (Players to watch):

Ray Emery: Free agent invitee Emery will get to make his case for the No. 2 goalie spot, as he will get the start in net for Chicago and is expected to play the entire game. Emery has made appearances in two games so far this preseason, splitting each with fellow backup spot contender Alexander Salak. The 29-year-old goaltender went 7-2-0 in 10 apperances with Anaheim last season.

Patrick Kane: Kane made his preseason debut - at a new position, to boot - and quickly reminded Blackhawks fans just how explosive he could be. Teamed with Andrew Brunette and Marian Hossa on his wings, Kane scored a goal, added an assist and gave himself and his linemates several nice looks at the net. Kane will get at least one more night at center Friday, said Blackhawks Head Coach Joel Quenneville, who also noted the chemistry Kane's line had developed in very little practice time.

Duncan Keith: Duncs did it all Wednesday night: not only did Keith lead the Blackhawks in ice time and score three assists, but he also spent more time on special teams than any other Blackhawk. Assuming he is on the roster for Friday's game, he will certainly get his fair share of time against Pittsburgh's top line.

Rising Star (Must-watch prospect): With injuries to Viktor Stalberg and Ben Smith, the chances for a young forward prospect to make the Blackhawks' opening-night roster have grown. Depending who Joel Quenneville and his staff choose to go with on Friday, Brandon Saad, Brandon Pirri and Marcus Kruger may get a chance to show the coaches what they've got.

Know the enemy (Opponent Report): The Penguins are 4-0-0 on the preseason, including three on home ice. No roster has been released, but according to pittsburghpenguins.com, Evgeni Malkin was centering the Pens' top line with James Neal and Steve Sullivan, who may return from injury Friday night in Chicago.

Fun Fact: The Blackhawks' attendance of 20,078 on Wednesday was the team's second-largest crowd for an exhibition game in franchise history. The record was set Sept. 25, 2010 against Detroit, with a crowd of 20,553.

Roster:

FORWARDS
29 Bickell
15 Brunette
13 Carcillo
67 Frolik
81 Hossa
88 Kane
16 Kruger
22 Mayers
85 Olesz
37 Pirri
43 Saad
19 Toews
DEFENSE
4 Hjalmarsson
2 Keith
8 Leddy
5 Montador
6 O'Donnell
7 Seabrook
GOALIES
30 Emery
53 Salak
2011-2012 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Sep 30 '11PIT 4 at CHI 2
Sep 22 '11CHI 1 at PIT 4
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%