Blackhawks

Four takeaways: 'Vintage' Corey Crawford steals two points for Blackhawks

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AP

Four takeaways: 'Vintage' Corey Crawford steals two points for Blackhawks

COLUMBUS — Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Saturday:

1. Corey Crawford steals the show

The Blackhawks had no business winning this game. They were being outshot 28-15 through two periods, committed four penalties and gave up 18 high-danger chances in the game. 

But Crawford bailed out his team like he often has done in the past, and was zoned in from the moment the puck dropped. He finished with 37 saves on 38 shots for a save percentage of .974, picking up his first win since Dec. 17, 2017.

"Yeah, I felt good," Crawford said. "I think everyone was playing hard, rebounds, taking away sticks. That was a great effort by everyone."

"He was standing on his head for us," Patrick Kane said. "As Q would say, that’s a goalie win for us."

Said coach Joel Quenneville: "That was vintage Crow."

2. Tic-tac-toe leads to go-ahead goal

The Blue Jackets were clearly the better team through two periods. The Blackhawks were fortunate to go into second intermission with the game still tied at 1-1.

The next goal was crucial, and they got it thanks to a Marcus Kruger redirection goal. The next one was the dagger, a beautiful give-and-go play by Brent Seabrook and Kane, who buried home a wide open net to give the Blackhawks a 3-1 lead with 4:14 left in regulation.

Was Kane expecting Seabrook to pass it back?

"No. Not a chance," Kane said laughing. "That’s his wheelhouse, coming right down there. He scores a lot of goals from that area. Saw it was like a 2-on-2, he was coming late, he jumped in the play on the first goal, did a great job, jumped in the play on that goal. Made a great pass. When I saw it come back, I just tried to stay patient, settle it down and make sure I hit the net, because I knew I had the whole open net."

3. Busy night for PK

The Blackhawks penalty kill was very busy. It was also on it's A-game, partly because their best penalty killer was Crawford.

The Blackhawks spent 6:31 of the first 40 minutes killing penalties, allowing 11 shots total on it. But most importantly, they killed off all four penalties.

"We had some tough clears, but I thought we did some good things," Quenneville said. "We withstood some extended PK zone time there and found a way to keep us in the game. Obviously that next goal was huge and that second period was a big part of them having so much zone time, keeping us in our end. We'll say, hey good job, but Crow was the best penalty killer tonight."

4. Catching up with Kane on Artemi Panarin

Kane and Panarin spent only two seasons together, but they brought Blackhawks fans out of their seats on a nightly basis and it was amazing to watch the instant on-ice chemistry they shared. And most of it was non-verbal, which made it even more impressive. They were always on the same wavelength.

"Sometimes it takes time to build some chemistry but that was one of those things where it was like, I don't want to say instant chemistry, but after one or two preseason games we kind of new that maybe something special was going to happen," Kane told NBC Sports Chicago. "I think he scored in his first game in the NHL, we had a really good game, we had the puck a lot, we sensed that this could be a fun way to play hockey."

Off the ice, Kane said Panarin would use Google translate on his phone to communicate while Kane would try using a Russian accent while saying English words.

The two of them got a chance to hang out for a little bit on Friday and Kane still keeps tabs on his former linemate.

"I always really enjoy watching him," Kane said. "If we have an off night or something, he's a really fun player to watch."

Blackhawks Rewind: Game 3 of 2010 Western Conference Semifinals

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AP

Blackhawks Rewind: Game 3 of 2010 Western Conference Semifinals

Dustin Byfuglien and the Blackhawks rode the momentum from Game 2's series-tying 4-2 victory at the United Center to have a decisive 5-2 road win in Game 3 and pull ahead in the series 2-1.

Saturday night at 7 p.m. central on NBC Sports Chicago you can re-watch the game where Byfuglien had a hat trick, Kris Versteeg had a first-period goal and Marian Hossa scored in the third.

Two of Byfuglien's three goals came from rebounds on the power play while he was in front of the net. The 2010 Stanley Cup champ was moved to forward and skated on the Hawks' top line with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane after playing as a defenseman in Game 2.

Versteeg kicked off the scoring 5:19 into the contest and Hossa's goal came at 7:42 of the third to give the Hawks a 4-2 lead. Byfuglien completed his hat trick for the 5-2 final score with 6:02 remaining in regulation. 

Toews had three assists and Kane grabbed two. 

Antti Niemi finished the game with 31 saves and Roberto Luongo made 30 stops. 

Attention Dish and Sling customers! You have lost your Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago. To switch providers, visit mysportschicago.com.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device. 

What Jonathan Toews is doing during the NHL pause

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USA Today

What Jonathan Toews is doing during the NHL pause

Aside from a video message for a 7-year-old fan played on NBC's the Today Show Thursday and news of his $100,000 donation to a COVID-19 response fund, we haven't heard from Jonathan Toews since before the NHL paused on March 12 due to concerns amid the spreading of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Blackhawks captain was a guest on Friday's episode of former Hawk John Scott's "Dropping the Gloves" podcast. 

Toews freely spoke on a variety of topics, one of which was how the NHL pause unfolded and how he's passing the time.

"Obviously with the pandemic, out of this whole situation, day-to-day it's kind of crazy," the three-time Stanley Cup champion with the Blackhawks told his former teammate. "At times I kind of pinch myself a little bit. It's only been a week and a bit that we've been kind of on lockdown and the game just stopped. 

"I think our last game was on a Wednesday at home. I can't remember who we played (6-2 win against the San Jose Sharks), but the next morning, woke up to a text and an email from the great Tony Ommen (Blackhawks Vice President of Team Services), as you know, telling us not to come to the rink. And it was just kind of a blindside because we thought the next step would be games without fans and we just kind of go from there and it just kind of got super serious real quick. 

RELATED — Jonathan Toews gives candid assessment of where the Blackhawks are at

"So honestly, I've just been laying around, recovering, doing some reading, making some phone calls, catching up with friends. I haven't had the chance to go home to Canada yet. I'm not sure if it's even too late for that, but I'm just kid of enjoying being at home. 

"I moved into a new condo here in Lincoln Park since Christmas and I think when you're as busy as we are during the year with the schedule that we have, we were gone pretty much all of January and February, I'm just kind of settling in and doing fun little things that have been on the back burner for quite a while. So that's about it."

RELATED — How coronavirus is impacting John Scott's family and what's ahead for the NHL

Scott also asked Toews about communicating with teammates during the unique situation.

"A lot of it has just been going over some of the stuff that's going on with [the NHLPA], getting updates, obviously chatting with the boys in the team chat and I think a lot of the guys have taken off and gone home, even the European guys too," Toews said. "So it's one of those situations, we don't know what's going to happen and I guess guys will just hang out at home and if we get the call everyone will come rushing back after that."

Attention Dish and Sling customers! You have lost your Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago. To switch providers, visit mysportschicago.com.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Blackhawks easily on your device.