It wasn't pretty, but it was a win and the right game for Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford to shake off his rust. The two-time Stanley Cup champ is expected to be leaned on during the Hawks' four-game homestand this week with Robin Lehner day-to-day with a right knee injury.
Crawford was pulled in his last start on Dec. 23, when Chicago trailed the New Jersey Devils 4-1 in the second period before losing 7-1. Sunday, he made 19 saves to help the Hawks come back to win 4-2 after trailing the Detroit Red Wings 2-0 following the first period.
"I didn't really feel that great at the start," Crawford said. "Got in between on plays sometimes. Just little details come easier when you're playing. Just trying to get better as I go here."
"Good," Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton said of Crawford's game. "Obviously, him and us, we didn't want to fall behind 2-0 but he made some huge saves to keep it 2-0 and then he shut the door the rest of the way."
A loss against the league's worst team would have been hard to overcome for Crawford and the Blackhawks, who are 19-18-6 and five points out of a wild card spot. But the goalie found his game and got some support off goals from Dylan Strome, Dylan Sikura (first NHL goal), Adam Boqvist (second NHL goal) and Dominik Kubalik (empty-net goal) to crawl back and capture two points.
"That team plays pretty hard," Crawford said of the Red Wings. "We didn't let up. We just kept playing. So if we do that eventually we'll get our chances and we'll score goals. You just can't let up, that's the only thing."
The Blackhawks play the Calgary Flames (22-17-5) on Tuesday, the Nashville Predators (19-15-6) on Thursday and the Anaheim Ducks (16-20-5) on Saturday.
"We have to be really good at home, we talked about that," Crawford said. "These are big points coming up, so just got to take care of home ice."
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