RECAP: Entwistle, Hagel shine as Blackhawks beat Red Wings 6–4


In their fourth preseason game in the young 2021–22 season, the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Detroit Red Wings 6–4 Monday at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, and moved to 2–1–1 for the preseason.

Dressing a veteran lineup with familiar faces and primary assets, the Hawks started quickly and gave themselves enough of an early cushion to come away with a win despite some inconsistent play and a poor showing on the penalty kill.

Early in the first period, after MacKenzie Entwistle drew an early penalty, Tyler Johnson tucked home a backhand shot after playing a Jonathan Toews feed off his own glove. Patrick Kane recorded the secondary assist on the goal. Moments later, Toews registered his second assist of the night, after dishing a pass to Jake McCabe, whose snap snot eluded Red Wings netminder Thomas Greiss to make it 2–0. Seth Jones also notched an assist and his first point as a Blackhawk.

The Hawks added to their lead before the halfway point of the period when Dominik Kubalik sent a speeding Brandon Hagel toward the net. Hagel found Philipp Kurashev in front of the net, who slotted it home just as the Hawks’ power play expired to make it 3–0 Chicago.

The Wings’ Bobby Ryan cut the lead to 3–1 early in the second period on a power play marker off a nifty pass from Lucas Raymond. Chicago would reclaim the three-goal advantage, as Hagel’s contagious hustle saw him sprint to the corner to win a puck and center it to Entwistle, whose accurate wrist shot beat Greiss for his second goal of the preseason.

The Hawks headed back to the box yet again, and Detroit made it 4–2 on the power play when Moritz Seider found the twine with a shot from the point. Yet again, Chicago found itself in penalty trouble, when Kane was whistled for high sticking. The penalty kill’s woes continued, as Robbie Fabbri scored Detroit’s third power play goal of the game at 12:58 of the second frame. The period would end 4–3 in favor of the Hawks.

To begin the third period, the penalty box came back to haunt the Hawks once again. After a questionable call against Caleb Jones, Raymond ripped a rocket from the slot for the Wings’ fourth power play goal of the night, tying the score at 4–4.

10:20 into the period, the combination of Entwistle and Hagel struck again. Entwistle intercepted a pass, moved it to Hagel on a 2-on-1 and Hagel feathered it back to his linemate. Entwistle finished it off for his second goal of the game and a 5–4 Hawks lead.

With less than three minutes to play, Marc-Andre Fleury absolutely robbed Fabbri with a swift glove save. Fleury finished with 36 saves on the evening. Alex DeBrincat put away an empty-net goal with seconds remaining, and the Hawks escaped with a 6–4 victory.


The line of Entwistle, Hagel and Adam Gaudette was a threat throughout the evening. Entwistle, who has shown great chemistry with Hagel, is threatening to earn a roster spot. Considered a long shot a couple of weeks ago, he has quickly turned into the “feel good” story of the preseason. There are still games to go, but it would not be a shock to see him on the opening night roster.

The Blackhawks finished 28th in the NHL in penalty killing percentage at 76.8% for the 2020–21 season. If Monday night is any indication, there is still work to be done. Detroit’s power play was indeed effective, but should Chicago wish to compete in the Central Division this season, the penalty kill will need to improve, particularly in front of their own net.

High-profile newcomers Seth Jones and Jake McCabe struggled as a tandem in their own end on Monday night. It is not time for alarm bells just yet, as this is the preseason, but it was surprising to see them under duress and turning the puck over often, particularly in the first 40 minutes of the contest. It is the time of year to be sloppy, though, and hopefully this will be rectified before the season opener with the less-forgiving Colorado Avalanche.

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