Corey Crawford shines, Jonathan Toews scores game-winner as Blackhawks beat Wild in OT

Corey Crawford shines, Jonathan Toews scores game-winner as Blackhawks beat Wild in OT

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Corey Crawford was his usually cool self after Wednesday’s game, the inconclusive review that went against the Blackhawks and took quite a long time to figure out didn’t seem as much of a big deal anymore.

“I mean, sometimes you get them, sometimes you don’t. It’s a fast game, tough for the refs to call everything you want and call it perfectly,” he said. “I know in the moment you want to swear at them and break your stick, but sometimes you just don’t get it and you have to keep playing.”

The Blackhawks did keep playing. Crawford kept stopping pucks. And by the end, despite that lengthy look and a lost lead in regulation, the Blackhawks got the necessary two points.

Crawford stopped 35 of 38 shots and Jonathan Toews had the game-winning goal in overtime, part of his three-point night, as the Blackhawks beat the Minnesota Wild 4-3. The Blackhawks are now five points behind the Wild, who still lead the Western Conference.

Ryan Hartman had his third goal in as many games and Richard Panik scored his 12th of the season. Nick Schmaltz also scored. It was a great game with a few interesting moments – including that lengthy review on Zach Parise’s game-tying goal, which the Blackhawks thought was offside, in the second period. But the Blackhawks kept their cool and got through it.

“Huge win,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “We had to win the game, keep us within striking distance [of the Wild]. They were on such a roll, first game back off a road trip and a tough game for them. I thought Crow was big down the stretch. Jonny had a big game. We did a lot of good things and had the start we were looking for as well. Tough to give up that one at the very end [of regulation] but certainly getting two points was important.”

The Blackhawks had a 2-0 lead thanks to Hartman and Schmaltz’s goal. But the Wild, who were coming off a victory in Winnipeg on Tuesday night, never looked fatigued and responded after Schmaltz’s score. Jared Spurgeon scored first before Parise scored on his own rebound. The Blackhawks claimed offside on their review but, after officials looked at it for more than five minutes, they deemed their views inconclusive and the goal stood. The NHL explanation was this:

Review was not conclusive in determining whether Parise had had tagged up at the instant the puck touched Charlie Coyle's stick. According to Rule 78.7, “If a review is not conclusive and/or there is any doubt whatsoever as to whether the call on the ice was correct, the On-Ice Official(s) will be instructed to confirm their original call.” 

The result was frustrating. So was the delay.

“Tough time to wait that long and it end up being a goal,” Hartman said. “But we responded well and kept with it.”

Full marks to Crawford, who may have had his best post-appendectomy game on Wednesday night. Many of the opportunities Crawford stopped were stellar, as the Wild got to the doorstep too often.

“He certainly was huge,” Quenneville said. “Had to make [stops on] some dangerous plays, a couple key ones there in overtime. Nice to see him get big win for us and break that schneid that we had against this team. Certainly nice to break it.”

The Blackhawks broke the Wild’s regular-season hex on them. It wasn’t easy and it took a little longer than they expected but they kept their cool.

“That was a big win for us against one of the best teams in the league for now. Some good momentum for us on the road, too,” Crawford said. “Just have to bring that to the next game.”

2010 Hawks Rewind: 3 things we noticed in Blackhawks' Game 6 win over Canucks

2010 Hawks Rewind: 3 things we noticed in Blackhawks' Game 6 win over Canucks

In honor of the 10-year anniversary of the 2010 Stanley Cup team, NBC Sports Chicago is re-airing each of the Blackhawks' 16 postseason wins from the run that ended a 49-year championship drought. You can join the conversation using #HawksRewind on social media.

After failing to close out the series at home in Game 5, the Blackhawks took care of business in Vancouver by eliminating the Canucks following a 5-1 win in Game 6 to advance to the Western Conference Final for the second straight season. Here are three things we noticed in the win:

1. Contributions all around

The 2010 Blackhawks had ridiculous depth. And they flexed their muscles in Game 6 after three of the four lines contributed on the scoresheet. 

Five different Blackhawks scored in the win (Troy Brouwer, Dave Bolland, Dustin Byfuglien, Patrick Kane and Kris Versteeg) and three others recorded an assist (Brian Campbell, Duncan Keith and Patrick Sharp). Byfuglien and Kane each had multi-point outings.

2. Dave Bolland ices the game

After a scoreless first period, the Blackhawks scored two goals in a 36-second span in the opening minutes of the second period to take a 2-0 lead. The next goal was going to be a crucial one as the game went on.

With 1:03 left in the period, the Canucks were awarded a power play. It was a prime opportunity to get themselves back in the game and generate momentum. But that did not happen thanks to The Rat.

Bolland, who was a pest all series long, disrupted Pavol Demitra's pass at the point, caught the puck in his hand, dropped it on the ice, fought off Demitra twice and snuck a shot past Robert Luongo to put the Blackhawks up 3-0.

The Canucks never recovered.

3. Containing the Sedin twins

Big-time players make big-time plays in the biggest moments. The Blackhawks are a perfect example of that. Can you think of a better big-game player than Patrick Kane? Jonathan Toews? Duncan Keith? The core together?

The Canucks, at home, had the advantage of drawing favorable defensive matchups. But Henrik and Daniel Sedin went up against Bolland's line, which contained both of them.

At even strength, the Sedins had 15 shot attempts for and six against and seven scoring chances for and four against, according to Natural Stat Trick. But they gave up two goals and scored zero.

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Toronto cancels city-wide events until June 30: here's what it means for the NHL

USA Today

Toronto cancels city-wide events until June 30: here's what it means for the NHL

Tuesday afternoon Toronto Mayor John Tory announced the city would cancel all major city-wide events until June 30. For baseball fans hoping to start their season and basketball and hockey fans hoping to get back into the swing of theirs, the news makes it hard to envision live sports returning before July. 

What does this mean for the NHL? Well, technically the ban is for city-wide events such as parades, events, festivals, and other cultural programs, excluding the NHL. 

However, professional sports will have to contend with the province of Ontario, which banned gatherings of more than five earlier this month. 

The NHL recently reached out to arenas asking for their availability in July and August. 

The idea of finishing out the 2020 season in summer is becoming more and more likely as governments continue to grapple with the severity of COVID-19. There have been speculations about what this new schedule will look like for the NHL, including a shortened 2020-21 preseason and eliminating by-weeks and All-Star weekend. This will present its own unique challenges, including arenas in warmer climates struggling to maintain ice quality for summer games. But if more major cities follow Toronto’s lead, all we know for certain is that a return to normalcy may be longer than anticipated. 

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