For the second time in two nights, the Chicago Blackhawks had to go to a shootout to settle a preseason tilt, but this time they came out on top, as captain Jonathan Toews provided the winning goal in a 5-4 triumph over the Washington Capitals Friday night.
Dylan Olsen, Jeremy Morin, Brad Winchester, and Brandon Bollig all scored for the Hawks as they ran their record to 2-0-1 during the preseason.
Without further adieu, here are Friday's Three Stars:
Third Star: Jimmy Hayes
Hayes has been showcasing his skills throughout the preseason for the Hawks, but on Friday night, he had the full complement on display.
In addition to his assist and two shots on goal, Hayes was aggressively skating between the offensive and defensive zones, aggressively forechecking the puck deep in Capitals territory, and all the while gaining confidence throughout the game.
With three more games left in the preseason, it's hard to imagine a scenario outside of injury in which Hayes would not make the roster, and if he can play consistently the way he did Friday, then he is going to be an impact player for the Hawks in multiple areas of the game.
Second Star: Dylan Olsen
Olsen may be the odd man out when all is said and done in the battle to grab a reserve spot on the Hawks' blue line, but if his effort Friday was any indication, then he could be among the first to get a call-up down the road.
Olsen's game got off to a rough start when he dropped a pass behind the Hawks' net, leaving Nick Leddy helpless as he was drilled into the boards.
After that play though, Olsen settled down nicely. On the first Hawks goal of the game, Marcus Kruger carried the puck around the offensive zone, and found Olsen at the line. Instead of shooting right away towards Michal Neuvirth, Olsen collected the puck, skated up a seam between the circles, and uncorked a shot that evaded the Washington keeper to tie the game at 1-1.
As if that play wasn't good enough, Olsen was also part of an excellent designed play off a face-off in the offensive zone in the second period. Off of a won face-off by Toews, Olsen picked up the puck at the blue line, and fed the puck down the boards to a wide open Winchester, who muscled a shot past Neuvirth.
It was great execution all around for the Hawks, and it was one more feather in the cap of the youngster.
First Star: Jeremy Morin
Like Olsen, Morin had several great plays in this contest, and like Hayes, he likely is cementing his spot on the roster with his play in recent games.
In the second period, Morin collected a puck off the stick of Klas Dahlbeck, who did a good job of patiently waiting for Morin to come open in the defensive zone. He then took a couple strides up the ice, went straight between two Capitals defenders, and carried the puck all the way up the ice before depositing a shot past Neuvirth to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead.
In addition to that goal, Morin also had a big role in the previously explained Winchester goal. On that designed play, Morin cut across the zone after the draw and immediately crashed the net. That netfront pressure was instrumental in screening Neuvirth from seeing the pass across to Winchester in time, and was a well-executed move by a young hockey player looking to make the big club this season.
Here is the video of Morin's goal, courtesy of Comcast SportsNet: