NHL: Preseason-Detroit Red Wings at Chicago Blackhawks

I ran into the CI crew during the first intermission at the corner bar near section 322, and Fels asked me when the last time two Chicago-area goaltenders faced each other prior to Sunday. My best guess was when Craig Anderson went up against Glenview native Al Montoya, and the last time they started against each other was Jan. 2.

The last time it actually happened in Chicago? Beats me, but Lemont native Scott Darling won Sunday’s Battle of the Chicago Suburbs by making 32 saves in a 2-1 win over the Senators and Park Ridge’s Anderson.

Darling wasn’t tested all that much, but he kept cool for a guy making his NHL debut in his hometown for the team he grew up rooting for, which I guess is kind of a big deal or something if you’re searching for a narrative. Not a bad one, but more importantly I’m happy the Blackhawks were able to come away with two points with their third-string goaltender as Corey Crawford sat out a fourth straight game.

Most of us here at CtA have discussed Crawford missing an extended period would probably be the most damning injury to the Blackhawks’ success this season. Antti Raanta and Darling have at least showed they can hold up in a small sample size, but going on much longer without Crawford, who is 3-0-1 with a 1.66 GAA and .926 save percentage (take that, haters), sure isn’t ideal.

The only goal Darling gave up was Milan Michalek’s short-handed tally in the second period, and it’s tough to blame him for it. As Brad Richards was coming to the boards to secure the puck off a ring-around, the ref inexplicably skated in front of Richards, forcing him to miss it.  That sprung Alex Chiasson and Michalek, and well, you know the rest.

Jonathan Toews’ goal was the Blackhawks’ first in the second period all season, and it also gave Patrick Kane his 500th career point off the assist.

Anything else I’ve got is in this season’s first edition of Boxing. Have at it….