Blackhawks

Blackhawks

It took the Minnesota Wild nearly half the first period of Game 2 inside the United Center to register a shot on goal, and it wasn't until the third period that Matt Dumba got the visiting team on the board.

After allowing three goals in a single period five separate times this postseason — including in Game 1 against Minnesota — the Blackhawks needed to put on a better defensive performance. 

On Sunday, they did just that.

"That was another big win for us," Crawford said following the Blackhawks' 4-1 win. "We want to be up 2-0 going into their building. We had a lot of good chances tonight and we were able to capitalize on the really good ones. That definitely felt good for the team right now."

From Crawford on out, the Blackhawks put on arguably their best defensive performance of the postseason. Pair that with star players putting pucks in the back of the net, and it resulted in the type of strong 60-minute performance the Blackhawks had been looking for.

[SHOP: Buy a Corey Crawford jersey]

"I think it was our best game all the way around," coach Joel Quenneville said. "Good pace and energy from the outset, good pace to our game, defensively solid, all lines were consistent, had a lot of offensive zone time, puck possession. We played the right way."

Jonathan Toews opened the scoring with a short-handed goal off a feed from Marian Hossa. The Wild responded the way you'd expect, fighting to get the puck into their offensive zone in an attempt to shift the momentum their way as quickly as possible.

Crawford, however, was having none of that, and made a number of big saves just after Toews' goal that led to a standing ovation from the crowd.

"That was huge," Quenneville said. "They had swarming on the net, two or three shots, crowd went crazy. Corey was solid. They had a couple of big flurries in the game but Corey was outstanding in those situations. Kept the momentum going our way even though they had a couple of good looks."

[MORE: Stars shine bright for Blackhawks in Game 2 win]

That momentum resulted in a goal from Patrick Kane just 19 second before the end of the second period. And while Dumba's goal is one Crawford would like to take back, his strong response after that kept the Wild from scoring again as Patrick Sharp and Kane went on to give Chicago more breathing room.

"There's lot of talk about the goals we scored, and the defensive plays leading to those guys scoring the goals, but Crow made some huge saves there in the second period to keep us I think tied in the beginning and made some big saves a 1-0 for us," Sharp said. "That's big. The building gets into it, they start chanting his name. That energy feeds into our lineup and we play better from there." 

With Sunday's win, the Blackhawks have remained undefeated in postseason games against Minnesota while on home ice. Crawford was a big reason that statistic remained perfect for Chicago as he made 30 saves in their Game 2 victory.

Now the Blackhawks will look to carry that type of defensive performance and momentum on the road as they head to Minnesota for Games 3 and 4.

"It's nice to get these two wins but by no means are we satisfied," Patrick Kane said. "We took care of business at home, now we have to go on the road and focus on Game 3."