Hawks drop Pre Season opener to Jackets 4-1

The Blackhawks started the Pre Season with a 4-1 loss to the Blue Jackets in Columbus. They struck first just 53 seconds into the game when Alexandre Fortin took a pass from Dominik Kahun and fired a wrister through the five-hole of JF Berube. From there, the Blue Jackets took over.Columbus scored the next two goals of the opening period with Zac Dalpe redirecting a Ryan Murray slap shot at 12:13 for the equalizer. Cam Ward was screened by Boone Jenner on a power play later in the period and Alexander Wennberg’s shot fired through traffic and past the goalie’s blocker for the 2-1 lead.The fast-paced game stayed relatively even through a scoreless middle frame, but in the third, the Blue Jackets built on their lead. Cam Atkinson pulled the puck away from Philipp Kurashev in the high slot and rifled a shot past Collin Delia just 36 seconds into the third.The Blue Jackets made it 4-1 late in the third with some good work down low followed by a shot from the left-wing circle by Liam Foudy.The Blackhawks clearly wanted a good look at their 2018 eighth-overall pick because Adam Boqvist jumped right into things, leading all players – from both teams – with 7:32 time on ice in his first NHL exhibition period. There was no wading into the water in this one for the 18-year-old defenseman. He’d finish the game with more than 18 minutes of ice time. In similar news, 2017 first-round pick Henri Jokiharju was a bit of a workhorse, playing 23:03, which led all Blackhawks skaters. In the second period, Blake Hillman broke his stick on an attempted slap shot, which resulted in a rush the other way. Ward made a huge point-blank save on Murray to prevent the Blackhawks from going down by two. The veteran netminder finished his night with 13 saves on 15 shots in just under 30 minutes of action.The Hawks leader in shots came from the blueline. Erik Gustafsson fired the puck on net seven times through three periods. His defensive partner Brandon Davidson, who is in camp on a PTO, drew some praise from Joel Quenneville and some players in the dressing room.
The Hawks have their second of three Pre Season games Thursday night against the Red Wings in Detroit.