Jonathan Toews made his preseason debut for the Blackhawks on Friday against the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center.
Toews had an assist in the Hawks' 5-4 win and scored the only goal in the shootout in his first game since missing the first two and all of the training-camp scrimmages because of a hip flexor.
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The assist came on a goal by Brad Winchester. Toews' other linemate, Jeremy Morin, also had a goal in his battle to make the team.
"I know there's a couple spots open and hopefully I'm one of those guys competing for them," Morin said. "I just have to come, play my game and produce."
Rookie Antti Raanta started in goal and looked sharp, especially late in the game. He made 26 saves and 3 more in the shootout.
"I think he's improving each and every day," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said of the Finnish goalie. "I think he's getting more comfortable in his surroundings and the way guys move in front of him and with the different dimensions. I like his attitude and his approach to the game."
Defenseman Dylan Olsen had a goal and assist while Brandon Bollig scored his second goal in as many nights.
Center Drew LeBlanc, another rookie competing for a job, got in his third game in a row but didn't figure in the scoring.
"He progressed in the game the other night so he's one guy we'll continue to evaluate, wait and watch and hopefully that decision at end, he can make it for us basically by how he plays," Quenneville said.
LeBlanc said the biggest adjustment he has had to make from the college ranks is with the speed of the game in the NHL.
"Coming out of junior or European hockey, the NHL is as good a league as they're ever going to see," Quenneville said. "Guys are smarter, they're stronger, their instincts are in the right place. You've got to make sure you're well prepared and quickness is going to be important."
Back to Finland:
Rookie Teuvo Teravainen headed back to Finland on Friday after showing some promise in two preseason games.
"I thought he had some really good stretches in games," Joel Quenneville said. "That consistency is something that, you know, putting it all together. It's going to fun to watch him grow.
"Offensively, he's smooth as can be and defensively he's got a real good mindset of keeping himself in the play in all zones. You would expect him to just keep getting better and bigger and stronger and more effective. I liked what I saw in his camp."
Smith stays optimistic:
Ben Smith wasn't in the lineup Friday after scoring his second goal in as many games Thursday against Pittsburgh.
"It feels good, but it's one game," Smith said. "One game's not going to make this team. As I said Tuesday, it's a step forward. It was definitely nice to feel like my legs were there and just kind of feel a little bit better every day. That's been my goal all along."
The Hawks assigned goalie Mac Carruth to Rockford on Friday.
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