The Chicago Blackhawks won 3-1 against European team, Eisbären Berlin, in a preseason game Sunday afternoon.
The Blackhawks have been chosen to be a part of this year’s NHL Global Series Challenge. They flew out to Berlin, Germany on Thursday night to play a preseason game against Eisbären Berlin who compete in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
Eisbären is dominant in the DEL league. They’ve won seven titles since the league formed in 1994. Last year, they were eliminated in the quarter finals, while the year before they lost in the finals.
Goaltending duties were split between Corey Crawford and Robin Lehner. An interesting thing to note: Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton has yet to have decided which goalie will start the first regular season game. It was an understanding that Crawford would be the starting goaltender for the team throughout the season barring any injuries and that Lehner would fill in as backup, but it seems that may not be the case. Colliton is having both goalies fight for the starting position, making the preseason games very important for both players.
Defenseman Connor Murphy and forward Zack Smith are sidelined due to injuries. The Blackhawks dressed an extra froward, Anton Wedin, and defenseman, Dennis Gilbert, for the game.
Here were the Blackhawks lines when the game began:
The attendance for the game was announced as 14,200 – a sell-out crowd for Mercedes-Benz Arena. Throughout play, the audience was singing and chanting. Here’s Jonathan Toews describing the atmosphere in the arena:
The first goal of the game came late in the first period with 0:52 to go. Patrick Kane made a no-look pass that went between an Eisbären player’s legs to Toews, who promptly shot the puck top corner and scored. The other assist on the goal was by Drake Caggiula.
The biggest standout star of the game for Eisbären was goalie Sebastian Dham. He held his own against the Blackhawks and stole some great chances from their own standout star, Alex DeBrincat.
Berlin tied the game late in the second period with 5:21 to go and a goal from Sean Backman against Lehner right as Eisbären killed their third penalty. After the second period, the Blackhawks had 33 shots to Eisbären’s 17.
Alex Nylander got a four-minute penalty in the third period for a high-sticking that drew blood, but luckily for him, the Blackhawks killed it off. Nylander ended up scoring with 9:47 left in the third period, giving the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead. Erik Gustafsson and Patrick Kane assisted on the goal.
David Kampf scored an empty net goal for the Blackhawks with 1:20 to go.
The three stars of the game were Alex Nylander (1), Patrick Kane (2), and Sebastian Dham (3).
The Blackhawks play their first regular season game against the Philadelphia Flyers on October 4 at 1PM CT at O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic where former Blackhawk (and very likely future Hall of Famer) Marian Hossa will be in attendance.
(All images are credited to Bine.)