Patrick Kane lifts Blackhawks in OT win over Islanders


Patrick Kane lifts Blackhawks in OT win over Islanders

NEW YORK – The Blackhawks knew there were going to be growing pains in the early going, a side effect of their summer roster turnover.

In Game 2 they showed some progress in that category. And considering there were still some glitches and some bad turnovers, the Blackhawks will take the two points.

Artem Anisimov scored his first goal in a Blackhawks uniform and Patrick Kane scored two, including the power-play winner in overtime, as the Blackhawks beat the New York Islanders 3-2 on Friday night.

It was the Blackhawks’ first victory and their first regular-season foray into 3-on-3. They didn’t spend much time with the latter, however, with Nick Leddy hooking a surging Marian Hossa to put the Blackhawks on the power play. Just 24 seconds into that advantage, Kane scored.

The Blackhawks expected strong and fast Islanders, especially since the team was starting their first season at its new home, Barclays Arena. For long periods the Islanders seemed to control play. The Blackhawks, however, never trailed in this game.

“I think it was kind of similar to last game: we had some good spurts and some times where the other team really took it to us. But every team is good now and every team’s going to get some time with the puck and some [scoring] chances,” Duncan Keith said. “We knew they were going to come out hard to start their first season ever in this. I thought we did a pretty good job of weathering the storm there.”

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Anisimov put the Blackhawks up 1-0 late in the first. He grabbed Brock Nelson’s wayward pass, broke ahead and backhanded a shot past Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss.

“Big goal for us. First penalty we had to kill all year and we score short-handed,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “You score short-handed goals, you usually have a good night. It turned out to be a big factor in the game.”

After John Tavares tied it early in the second, Kane scored his first of the season to put the Blackhawks ahead again, 2-1, late in the period. Kane heard plenty of boos from the Barclays Center crowd during Friday’s game.

“It’s nothing I’m too worried about,” he said. “You don’t expect them to be super nice when you’re going into a road building.”

Corey Crawford stopped 34 of 36 shots for the Blackhawks. His work was critical, considering the Blackhawks had several awful turnovers that became good Islanders scoring opportunities.

The Blackhawks rolled out Keith, Kane and Jonathan Toews to start 3-on-3 in overtime but soon got that successful power play. It still wasn’t the prettiest game the Blackhawks have played in this early regular season. But they found a way to get two points, which is something they’ve been good at doing in recent history, even in their not-so-great games.

“That was important,” Crawford said. “This is a quick Islanders team; lot of skill and speed. We knew it was going to be a tough game, their first one at home. We did what we wanted on the road. It was definitely nice to come back in overtime and win it on the power play. It gives us confidence going back home.”


Blackhawks make it official: Corey Crawford is back

Blackhawks make it official: Corey Crawford is back

He’s back.

Corey Crawford was officially activated from injured reserve on Thursday and will start in goal for the first time since Dec. 23, 2017 when the Blackhawks host the Arizona Coyotes.

"It’s exciting," coach Joel Quenneville said. "I’m sure he’s looking forward to it and we’re all excited about it as well. It’ll be a fun situation for the guys, seeing him back in the net as well. So we’re looking for everyone to be excited about tonight’s game."

The two-time Stanley Cup champion was medically cleared to practice from his concussion on Oct. 1, but the Blackhawks wanted to give Crawford as much time as he needed to get his conditioning and puck-tracking skills up to game speed before putting him into game action.

"It feels good to be back to myself," Crawford said on Wednesday. "I'm feeling good, I'm feeling clear. It was a pretty long process. ... Practices have been great, been getting timing a little bit more and getting up to speed and reading shots and all that, so it'll be nice to finally get in one."

To make room for Crawford on the 23-man roster, the Blackhawks have assigned forward Luke Johnson to the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League. Brandon Saad, who wore a white healthy scratch jersey all week at practice, will take his spot in the lineup.

For now, the Blackhawks will hang on to Anton Forsberg and carry three goaltenders as insurance as they get ready to start a seven-games-in-11-days stretch.

Crawford was 16-9-2 with a 2.27 goals against average, .929 save percentage and two shutouts in 28 games last season. The Blackhawks were 17-30-8 without him and finished last in the Central Division.

Sports Talk Live Podcast: Is Crawford ready to go?


Sports Talk Live Podcast: Is Crawford ready to go?

Jimmy Greenfield, Connor McKnight, and Matt Spiegel join Kap on the panel to discuss Corey Crawford back on the ice for the first time in 10 months. The Bears have good news when it comes to Khalil Mack, who injured his ankle against the Dolphins.

Plus, Fred Hoiberg announces that Jabari Parker is coming off the bench for the season opener.

Listen to the full episode here or via the embedded player below: