Five Things to Watch: Crawford, Blackhawks visit Price, Canadiens tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Crawford, Blackhawks visit Price, Canadiens tonight on CSN

Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Montreal Canadiens tonight on CSN and streaming live on Coverage begins at 6 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Blackhawks Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

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Five Things to Watch:

1. Hello again, Andrew Shaw.

Remember him, Chicago? Shaw had his welcoming back party at the United Center on Nov. 13 but the Blackhawks spoiled his return by beating his new club 3-2. Now they're going to his new house. Shaw has had a roller coaster season for the Canadiens, racking up by far a career-high 101 penalty minutes in only 55 games, but he's been much more disciplined and effective ever since Claude Julien took over behind the bench. He has 10 goals and 14 assists, and is logging an ice-time average of 15:09 per game.

2. Corey Crawford returns to hometown.

There's no place like home. The Blackhawks play in Montreal only once per year, and Crawford has always brought his A-game against the team he grew up rooting for. In eight career NHL starts against the Canadiens, Crawford owns a 6-0-2 record with a 1.49 goals against average, .951 save percentage and one shutout. That's the highest save percentage against any other team he's faced throughout his career. Crawford is also coming off his best performance of the season in which he stopped a season-high 42 saves in a 4-2 win over Minnesota.

3. Carey Price heating up, too.

On the other end of the ice there's Price, who's a former Vezina Trophy and Hart Trophy winner. After a terrific start to the season, Price cooled off big time in December and January but has really returned to form here as of late. He's won his last six starts, and has allowed only six goals on 165 shots during that span, good for a .964 save percentage.

4. American-born players chasing history.

Patrick Kane made history last year by becoming the first U.S.-born player to win the Art Ross Trophy for most points and Hart Trophy for league MVP, and is right in the thick of both races again this year. He enters tonight with 73 points, trailing Connor McDavid by only two for the league lead, and could become the first player to win the scoring title in back-to-back seasons since Jaromir Jagr in 1999-2000 and 2000-2001.

Max Pacioretty is also aiming to put his name in the history books by becoming the first U.S.-born player to win the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy for most goals in a season. The award was first handed out in 1998-99. Pacioretty is tied for second in the NHL with 33 goals, trailing only Sidney Crosby and Brad Marchand (35).

5. A fun finish?

If there's one thing the Blackhawks and Canadiens have in common, it's that both teams turn it up in the third. They each have scored their fewest amount of goals in the first period, and most in the third period. The Canadiens have won seven of their last eight, while the Blackhawks have won 13 of their last 16. They didn't go on those runs without channeling some late-game magic.

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Blackhawks not going to 'freak out' about 0-2-1 start

USA Today

Blackhawks not going to 'freak out' about 0-2-1 start

The Blackhawks wanted to get off to a strong start this season because they know how hard it is to climb out of a hole in the Central Division. Last season was proof of that.

Well, they've picked up only one out of a possible six points through three games and are one of three teams still searching for their first victory of the season. But they're not going into panic mode just yet.

"We know there's things we have to improve upon," Jonathan Toews said. "Jeremy [Colliton] always talks about doing the right thing and over time eventually you're going to get results. I don't know if we can say we're doing things the right things that we want to and we're playing complete games right now, so even having said that, midway through the San Jose game and even against Winnipeg we were in a position to take control of the game going into the third period and we let teams back in. So I think there's a lot of ways we can play better.

"But having said that we're in those games and giving ourselves a chance to win. Obviously that's not good enough, but we're not going to freak out and say, 'we've got to start winning games.' Of course that's the goal, we wanted to get two points the other night."

The quest to pick up their first two points of the season doesn't get any easier for the Blackhawks on Monday night. The Edmonton Oilers are coming to town with a 5-0-0 record, and they're clicking on all cylinders. They have the second-best power play unit (41.2 percent), second-best penalty kill percentage (94.1), the NHL's leading point-getter in Connor McDavid (12) and leading goal scorer in James Neal (seven).

The Blackhawks know at some point they have to start stringing together some wins, but they're not living and dying by the standings right now because everything looks out of proportion. They're focused on the process and putting together a full 60-minute effort.

"It's always magnified at the start of the year," Colliton said. "Your special teams, you got [teams] with 100 percent PK, you got [teams] with 40 percent power play, and all the little things they look way bigger than they are. Would be nice for us to get a win, get some positive feelings but any three-game window among the 82, it's not going to be looked upon as closely as this one.

"So again, we've just got to focus on playing hard, playing the game the right way, do the right thing time and time again and we'll get the results." 

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Corey Crawford to start in goal for Blackhawks vs. Oilers

USA Today

Corey Crawford to start in goal for Blackhawks vs. Oilers

Corey Crawford will start in goal for the Blackhawks when they take on the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night. He's 0-2-0 with a 4.63 goals-against average and .875 save percentage this season.

In 18 career appearances against the Oilers, Crawford is 9-7-0 with a 2.53 goals-against average, .909 save percentage and one shutout. 

The decision is a little surprising, given how well Lehner performed on Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets and what his career numbers are against the Oilers. In eight starts vs. Edmonton, Lehner is 5-1-2 with a 1.86 goals-against average, .943 save percentage and one shutout.

"We're going to continue to ... both guys are going to get in," coach Jeremy Colliton said after Monday's morning skate. "They're both going to play. I'm not going to give you the road map, but today it's Crawford and we'll go from there."

The Blackhawks are seeking their first win of the season (0-2-1) against an Oilers team that's 5-0-0.

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