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game preview

Blackhawks head to Steel City for preseason matchup

Sunday, 09.22.2013 / 9:53 PM

Brad Boron - chicagoblackhawks.com

The Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins finish their preseason series Monday at CONSOL Energy Center. The game can be heard on wgnradio.com and the WGN Radio mobile apps.

Last Meeting: Brandon Bollig's third-period goal evened the score, but the Blackhawks fell to the Penguins at home in a shootout, 4-3, on Sept. 19. Ben Smith had two points (1G, 1A) in the game.

Three Stars (players to watch):

Patrick Kane: Out of the lineup for the last two preseason games, Patrick Kane may return to action Monday in Pittsburgh. Though he hasn't necessarily shown it on the scoresheet, Kane has played at a very high level in his first to exhibition contests, taking 10 shots on goal and making impressive, heads-up plays in the opponent's zone.

Nikolai Khabibulin: With Corey Crawford taking Sunday's start in Detroit, Quenneville said that the 40-year-old netminder will get Monday's start against the Penguins. Khabibulin is 7-7-4 all-time against the Pens, with a 2.74 goals-against average.

Brandon Pirri: After sitting out of the first four preseason games due to injury, Coach Q said that Pirri will get his first action of the preseason on Monday. With several forward spots up for grabs on the Blackhawks' roster, Pirri will have two games to impress the coaches and management and prove that he has the skill and maturity to make it in the NHL.

Rising Star (must-watch prospect): 2009 draft pick Byron Froese played the hero Sunday against Detroit, tallying two goals, including the game-winner, and being named the game's first star. The 22-year-old Manitoba native recorded 33 points (12G, 21A) in 38 games with the ECHL's Toledo Walleye last season.

Know the enemy (opponent report): Pittsburgh is 1-2-1 on the preseason, after falling 5-3 to Columbus on Saturday night. According to the team's website, most of the Penguins' regulars are expected to be in the lineup Monday, including Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and James Neal. Goalie Tomas Vokoun is out indefinitely after undergoing surgery to remove a blot clot in his pelvis.

Fun Fact: Pittsburgh-area native Brandon Saad led Pine-Richland High School to the 2008 Pennsylvania Class AAA state title at Mellon Arena, former home of the Penguins.

2013-2014 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Sep 23 '13CHI 2 at PIT 3 - SO
Sep 19 '13PIT 4 at CHI 3 - SO
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PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
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