Jonathan Toews notches first preseason goal in Blackhawks loss to Columbus

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TORONTO, ON - MARCH 18: Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on March 18, 2017 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Blackhawks defeated the Maple Leafs 2-1 in overtime. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

CHICAGO – An illness kept Blackhawks’ fans from seeing just how much their captain has improved his game from a bit of an off-year in 2016-2017 on Thursday.

That wouldn’t be the case Sunday as Jonathan Toews was healthy and ready for the Blackhawks’ third preseason game of the year against the Blue Jackets. While they saw some decent plays throughout the game, fans had to wait a while to see the biggest highlight from the captain at the United Center.

Toews notched his first goal of the preseason with 1:21 to go in the third period on Saturday night on the power play to make for an interesting finish. It brought the Blackhawks to within a goal but they never got the equalizer in a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Columbus.

But seeing Toews get on the board when he put a rebound off a shot by Patrick Sharp into the net is encouraging for the Blackhawks. Last season, the center had a career-low in goals (21) and Plus-Minus (+7), openly discussing his need to improve before his 11th season in the NHL last April.

During his 17:42 on the ice, Toews also collected faceoff wins in 13 of his 19 tries.

Artem Anisimov also got his first goal of the preseason in the second period, but a pair of tallies later in the period by the Blue Jackets were enough to get them the victory.

The Blackhawks play their fourth exhibition game against the Bruins in Boston on Monday at 6 PM.


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