2 in 21 gives 'excellent' Crawford win in return


2 in 21 gives 'excellent' Crawford win in return

Corey Crawford waited. And waited. And waited.

The Blackhawks No. 1 goaltender just wanted to get back into the net, wanted to get back to playing the way he did at the end of last season and the beginning of this one.

On Wednesday, he did.

Crawford stopped 20 of 21 shots, some in strong fashion, and the Blackhawks scored two goals within 21 seconds of each other in their 5-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. The Blackhawks went into the break the way they hoped, with a stronger showing than in Pittsburgh on Tuesday and with the most points in the NHL (48).

And Crawford got his desired result, too. The Blackhawks No. 1 netminder struggled in November, and backup Ray Emerys hot streak meant Crawford had to bide his time to play again. It was a long wait, and Crawford was glad it was over.

I was pretty hungry to get back in there, Crawford said. I was trying to get into it early, just to get some feeling back. Its not the same as working hard in practice. Youve still got to get some time in the game.

Andrew Brunette and Patrick Sharp scored those two quick goals for the Blackhawks. Viktor Stalberg, Jonathan Toews and Bryan Bickell added third-period goals.

Crawford was officially back midway through the second period, when he got a stick on Max Paciorettys shot, which seemed destined for the back of the empty net.

I thought it was a goal, I thought (Pacioretty) was celebrating, but Crawford made a great stop, defenseman Brent Seabrook said. When things like that happen, it gives you momentum.

The Blackhawks, down 1-0 at that point, turned that momentum into offense. About a minute later Brunettes shot bounced off Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban and past goaltender Peter Budaj to tie it. Then Sharp added his game-winner 21 seconds later.

Teammates were understandably happy for Crawford.

Hes used to playing a lot so not easy for goaltenders to watch a lot of hockey and then go in there and try and play with confidence, Toews said. Its great to see him get the win and we definitely wanted to help him out there.

The Blackhawks enter their long break with the victory they wanted. Crawford came out of his long break with the victory he needed.

It was an excellent game for him and us, coach Joel Quenneville said. He looked sharp, looked quick and was big in the net as well. It was good to see him come back the way he did. I commend him throughout that process how mentally he was focused and prepared. He did a great job.


Sharps baby girl, Madelyn Grace, was at her first Blackhawks game on Wednesday night. Sharp said her first game I get a goal. Hopefully shes up late and sleeps all through the night.

Quenneville was happy with the game of Brandon Pirri, who was called up Wednesday morning. I thought he did a great job. He was smart, made some good plays and had more speed than I previously saw.

Marian Hossa assisted on Sharps goal to extend his point streak to seven games.

Instant reaction: Jonathan Toews lifts Blackhawks past Blue Jackets in overtime

USA Today

Instant reaction: Jonathan Toews lifts Blackhawks past Blue Jackets in overtime


Blackhawks 3, Blue Jackets 2 (OT)

Snap judgments:

—  The Blackhawks didn't play their best, but they'll take it. Jonathan Toews scored the overtime winner for his first goal of the season after the puck hit off his leg from a Patrick Kane shot.

— The Blue Jackets were the better team in the first period. They led in shot attempts (22-17), shots on goal (13-10), scoring chances at even strength (11-5) and high-danger chances at even strength (3-2), according to Natural Stat Trick. But it was the Blackhawks who left the opening frame with a 1-0 lead.

— The Blackhawks took some uncharacteristic penalties. Andrew Shaw committed two of them, the second of which came in the offensive zone when he was whistled for interference. And then Robin Lehner got penalized for tripping late in the second period. 

— Fortunately for the Blackhawks, their penalty kill was terrific. They went 4-for-4 and killed off a crucial late third-period penalty to keep the game tied at 2-2. Lehner stopped all seven shots he faced with the man advantage.

Three stars:

1. Blackhawks C Jonathan Toews — Overtime goal, three shots on goal in 22:06 of ice time

2. Blackhawks G Robin Lehner — Stopped 37 of 39 shots for a save percentage of .949

3. Blackhawks RW Alex DeBrincat — One goal, one assist, four shot attempts (two on goal) in 17:13 of ice time

Must-see highlights:

—  Toews overtime winner 

— Caggiula goes top shelf

— DeBrincat buries power-play goal 

What's next:

The Blackhawks host the Washington Capitals on Sunday, Oct. 20 at 6 p.m. CT on NBC Sports Chicago.

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Blackhawks, as part of Magellan Corporation Women's Hockey Showcase, host clinic for female youth hockey players

Blackhawks, as part of Magellan Corporation Women's Hockey Showcase, host clinic for female youth hockey players

Four hours before the puck dropped for their Friday night matchup with the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Blackhawks — in conjunction with the six-time gold medalist Kendall Coyne Schofield and the PWHPA — hosted a night to remember for over 60 female youth hockey players at the United Center.

The proceedings were highlighted by a pregame clinic for those 60+ skaters (ages 6-16) titled the “Meet Your Sheros” Girls Clinic, which was led by a gaggle of Olympians and served as a kickoff for the Magellan Corporation Women's Hockey Showcase. 

But the fun didn’t end there: after the clinic concluded, youth participants also attended a private meet-and-greet with their ‘Sheros’ and then the Blackhawks’ game later in the evening. They also received passes to the Showcase, a four-team tournament put on by the Magellan Corporation and Billie Jean King Enterprises that will be held over the weekend (and feature 35 Olympic women’s hockey players!) at Fifth Third Arena. The impetus behind the Showcase is to "celebrate women in sports and promote gender equality."

And tonight, to hear Coyne Schofield tell it, was all about the next generation:

“I think what’s so important about this weekend is — you guys are talking about the 2018 Olympics and how special that was — but we’re trying to create that platform every day, not every four years,” she told NBC Sports Chicago.

“We’re working so hard every day and, as you can see, one of the most important parts of this weekend is being on the ice with the young girls, the next generation, who [are] going to fill our skates one day and hopefully -- not hopefully. They will grow up knowing they can make a living playing this sport if they’re good enough to do so.”

The epic display of women’s hockey set to ensue this weekend will certainly aid in that mission, as well. Look out for further developments related to the tournament — it’s sure to be a thrilling and inspiring weekend, both for the present and future of the sport.

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