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Marian Hossa breaks tie with a 5-on-3 power-play goal, Blackhawks beat Red Wings

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

CHICAGO - Marian Hossa broke a tie with a 5-on-3 power-play goal midway through the third period and the Chicago Blackhawks rallied to beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 on Wednesday night in exhibition play.

Hossa, appearing in his first pre-season game, beat goalie Ty Conklin from the top of the right circle after taking drop pass from Patrick Kane.

Kane, Brent Seabrook and rookie Ben Smith scored for Chicago (2-2-1). Duncan Keith had three assists.

Smith left the game early in the third period after being hit by Detroit defenceman Brendan Smith, who received a match penalty on the play.

Brendan Smith appeared to be lining up Ben Smith for a clean open-ice hit, but instead struck the Chicago forward in the head with his shoulder.

Ben Smith fell forward on the ice, stayed down for several minutes and had to be helped off by Keith and trainer Mike Gapski.

The incident, which left Detroit short-handed for five minutes and resulted in Brendan Smith's expulsion from the game, figures to be reviewed by the NHL as the league cracks down on blows to the head.

"Both referees said that's a classic example of what we're talking about—the illegal hit," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "It was pretty black-and-white.

"This is what we're trying to get away from. When you're in open ice, it's a 1-on-1 play. It's tough to get a hit like that. I don't know if you should be protecting your head when you're basically in a tight area with one guy."

After reviewing video, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock acknowledged that Brendan Smith's shoulder struck Ben Smith's head. But Babcock implied Ben Smith put himself into a bad position by trying to make an extra move as he closed in on the Detroit goal.

"Is there any responsibility on the puck carrier—toe dragging, sliding sideways—to look after himself," Babcock said. "I'm not saying our guy isn't guilty, but you'd better not put yourself in those situations.

"He (Brendan Smith) was trying to make body contact, but their guy did this and left his head there." Babcock added, while jerking his head to the side to imitate Ben Smith's motion just before the impact.

Fabian Brunnstrom had two goals for Detroit (2-3-0) and Drew Miller also scored.

Kane appeared in his first game since undergoing left wrist surgery in July. Coach Joel Quenneville played the star forward at centre on a line with Hossa, who was on right wing, and left wing Andrew Brunette. Kane has skated almost exclusively at right wing in his four NHL seasons, but Quenneville is looking more offence from his centres.

Both starting goalies played the entire game. Chicago's Corey Crawford made 17 saves and Conklin finished with 20.

The Blackhawks' lineup was made up mostly of players who will start the regular season with Chicago. Red Wings coach Mike Babcock held out many of his top skaters and used a lineup filled with prospects and depth players.

Kane opened the scoring midway through the first with a power-play goal on a quick shot from the right circle. Brunnstrom deflected in a power-play goal that tied it with 4:25 left in the first.

Miller put Detroit ahead 2-1 with 39 seconds left in the period. Brunnstrom's second goal, at 8:08 of the second made it 3-1. Seabrook cut it to 3-2 with a power-play goal from the top of the left circle 1:29 later.

Smith tied it at 3 1:29 the third. He fired into an empty net after Keith's dump-in bounced off the back boards, eluded Conklin and landed to the right of the net. Smith was knocked out of the game at 5:26 of the period. Hossa netted the winner on the ensuing power play.

NOTES: Chicago LW Viktor Stalberg left the game after the first period with a lower-body injury and didn't return. ... Detroit D Mike Commodore also suffered a lower-body injury in the game. ... A crowd of 20,028 attended the game, the second largest exhibition crowd in Blackhawks history.


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