Toews gives Blackhawks win over Ducks with second straight OT goal


Toews gives Blackhawks win over Ducks with second straight OT goal

When Duncan Keith was sidelined following right-knee surgery, the Blackhawks talked of everyone having to help more on defense.

Defensemen had to do a little more. Forwards had to help, too. But ultimately, the best line of defense is still the goaltender. And Corey Crawford has been doing is part.

Crawford stopped all 39 shots he faced for his second consecutive shutout, and Jonathan Toews scored the overtime winner for the second consecutive game as the Blackhawks beat the Anaheim Ducks 1-0 on Monday night.

The Blackhawks’ last two victories are ones for the record books. Per Elias, since overtime was reintroduced in the NHL in the 1983-84 season, the Blackhawks are the first team to post consecutive overtime shutout victories.

Not bad for a team still working through changes and minus their top defenseman. And on Monday, much of the victory credit went to Crawford.

“He was excellent tonight,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “The tests the last couple of games haven’t been as dramatic as it was tonight. It was one game when, especially as it was going on, they started coming at the end. Rebound control was in order and [he] challenged at the right times; big in those tight plays. They go to the net hard, so it was a dominating performance by him and very instrumental in why we got two points.”

Crawford, coming off a 21-stop outing against Tampa Bay was busier against the Ducks, especially late. Anaheim, which had scored just six goals in seven games entering tonight’s contest, outshot the Blackhawks 19-6 in the third period.

“Yeah, when I’m more involved I can definitely stay in the game easier. But you don’t want too much action,” Crawford said with a smile. “This one was a fun hockey game to play in. It was a tough test for us and told ourselves we had to stick with it after the second, be patient. It was a good, hard-fought win.”

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

The Blackhawks thought they had the regulation winner when Artemi Panarin put one past Ducks goaltender Frederick Andersen. But Andersen pushed the net off its moorings and the goal was waved off. Review confirmed the call and the NHL’s situation room released the official explanation:

At 14:25 of the third period in the Ducks/Blackhawks game, the Situation Room initiated a video review to further examine a play at the Anaheim net. Video review confirmed the referee's call on the ice that the Anaheim net was displaced before the puck crossed the goal line. According to Rule 78.5 (x) "Apparent goals shall be disallowed by the referee when the net becomes displaced accidentally. The goal frame is considered to be displaced if either or both goal pegs are no longer in their respective holes in the ice, or the net has come completely off one or both pegs, prior to or as the puck enters the net". Therefore the call on the ice stands: no goal Chicago.

The Blackhawks, however, got past that, getting a quick overtime winner again from the captain again.

“I think our puck carriers have done a good job trying to draw two players toward them and you just try and get speed going the other way. As you saw tonight, things are going to open up,” Toews said. “Sometimes that first shift, you’re waiting to tire out the other line and you get your one chance and it goes in. So we’ve been getting the bounces, getting the luck there so hopefully that keeps going for us if it goes down to 3-on-3.”

The Blackhawks got the necessary bounce in overtime. They got the necessary goaltending all night.

“They're big, they're strong, they're good at kind of being heavy on the puck down low and wearing you down,” Toews said. “You’re going to give up some scoring chances and Crow has really built that confidence early in the season that he can steal games for us and make a difference for us when it's a tight one, like it was tonight."


Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Ottawa Senators tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Trade chips.

The Blackhawks have reached the point in their season where they have no choice but to become sellers before the Feb. 26 deadline, and we saw that when they traded Michal Kempny to the Washington Capitals on Monday for a conditional third-round pick in 2018. Tommy Wingels could also be an attractive piece for a team looking to fill out their depth.

The Senators will definitely be sellers, and wow do they have some names potentially on the market that can fetch large returns: Derrick Brassard and Mike Hoffman are two players who log top-six minutes on a nightly basis and also have term left on their contract, which is great for teams looking to load up for this year and beyond.

The biggest name to watch, probably in the league altogether, is Erik Karlsson, who could be on the move if a team offers a big enough package for the Senators to pull the trigger now as opposed to in the offseason if they feel him re-signing is a long shot. He was the best defenseman last season, and if a team steps up to get him, they're getting two possible postseason runs out of him.

2. Artem Anisimov's experiment at left wing not working.

Joel Quenneville has tried rekindling the magic between Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane as of late, only this time Anisimov is playing the wing and it just hasn't been very effective. The trio was on the ice for each of the two 5-on-5 goals the Kings scored on Monday, and Anisimov completely lost his man on the first one.

It's important to establish a consistent left winger for Schmaltz and Kane, and maybe putting Alex DeBrincat up there is something you consider going forward as part of a long-term solution. Move Anisimov back down as the third-line center to play in more of a defensive role and continue using his big body on power plays for his offensive abilities might be the best bet.

3. Win the special teams battle.

In their last meeting against Ottawa on Jan. 9, the Blackhawks went 4-for-6 on the power play and 4-on-4 on the penalty kill in an 8-2 win. And those are two areas to look out for again.

The Senators own the 28th-ranked power play with a 16.1 percent success rate and 29th-ranked penalty kill with a 74.5 percent success rate. Get ready for another offensive outburst?

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?


Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Adam Burish and Pat Boyle discuss which Blackhawks could be on the trading block and what players are building blocks for the Hawks future.

Burish also shares a couple memorable trade deadline days and his “near” return to the Blackhawks in 2012. Plus, he makes his bold trade deadline prediction for the Hawks.

Listen to the full Blackhawks Talk Podcast right here: