Quick hits from Blackhawks-Canucks: Ryan Hartman shines

Quick hits from Blackhawks-Canucks: Ryan Hartman shines

We're just going to get to it tonight. It's basically Sunday's game except the Blackhawks got one point instead of two. Or is it? Read on and you'll see what we're talking about in the notables from the Blackhawks' 5-4 overtime loss to Vancouver.

What Worked: Another third-period comeback. Again, the Blackhawks don't want to get into this habit but for the second consecutive game those final 20 minutes – make that 20-plus minutes on Tuesday – were pretty exciting. The Blackhawks started getting better scoring opportunities late in the second period but they started punching them in in the third to take a point.

What Didn't Work: Defense and goaltending. Well, maybe it was just goaltending. Coach Joel Quenneville said several times following this one that he was fine with the overall game. Good puck possession on the Blackhawks' end and not much given up. Chalk it up to Corey Crawford having a tough one then, allowing four goals on 10 shots.

Star of the game: Ryan Hartman. The rookie has had a few quiet games recently but he was strong in a lot of aspects on Tuesday night. And when the Blackhawks needed the tying goal in the waning minutes of regulation, Hartman was there with it. Hartman's two goals on the night give him 18 on the season. A very nice season, indeed.

He Said It: "I don't get an argument. I know they saw the puck going in and saw my head bumping him but that's not what I was mad about. They slowed my ability to play goalie, and we lost the game because of it." Scott Darling on no goaltender interference being called in overtime.

By the Numbers:

7-14-3 – The Blackhawks' record this season when trailing after two periods.

56 – Points, in 56 career games, for Henrik Sedin vs. the Blackhawks. Sedin scored the Canucks' opening goal and assisted on brother Daniel's game winner in overtime.

4 – Goals on their first 10 shots for the Canucks. Corey Crawford was pulled after the fourth goal, which was early in the third period.

15 – Shots on goal for the Canucks, the fewest the Blackhawks have allowed this season. Their previous low was 20 by the Buffalo Sabres on Jan. 5 (a 4-3 Blackhawks victory).

100 – Points for the Blackhawks following Tuesday’s overtime loss. This is the fourth consecutive season they have reached at least 100 points.

Blackhawks' Corey Crawford heating up just in time for Stanley Cup Playoffs

Blackhawks' Corey Crawford heating up just in time for Stanley Cup Playoffs

The biggest storyline of Blackhawks training camp 2.0 was Corey Crawford missing the first 12 days because he had tested positive for COVID-19. He showed up on the final practice day in Chicago, which was exactly one week from the start of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers against the Edmonton Oilers.

The Blackhawks did everything they could to get him ready for Game 1, but you knew it would take him a while to get back into top form. And it has.

In the first three games against the Oilers, Crawford allowed 13 goals on 92 shots for a save percentage of .859 and had a minus-5.68 goals saved above average, according to Natural Stat Trick, which ranked dead last among all goaltenders. 

But when the Blackhawks needed him most in Game 4, Crawford delivered. 

The two-time Stanley Cup champion turned aside 41 of 43 shots for a save percentage of .953 in Friday’s 3-2 series-clinching win against the Oilers, including all 18 in the third period, a handful of which came from high-danger areas.

"He's a huge part of our team and he played real well today," Dominik Kubalik said. "I thought he was our best player."

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To take it a step further: Crawford stopped 16 of 18 shots from the slot and had nine saves from the inner slot, which is the third-most in a game by any goaltender this postseason, according to Sportlogiq. The Oilers had an expected goals for rate of 4.33 but scored only twice, which means Crawford saved the Blackhawks 2.33 goals.

It was a vintage performance between the pipes for No. 50.

"Obviously it wasn't the best scenario," Crawford said of having just one week to get ramped up for the qualifying round. "I would have liked to have had a few more weeks of practice and see more pucks coming into the series. But it is what it is. I think I felt way better each game, playing each game and just seeing different scenarios and situations. Once you get more of that, just the better you feel. Tonight was obviously better."

Despite turning in a terrific outing on Friday, Crawford admitted “there’s still some work to do” before he feels like in peak form. But if he gets there in time for the beginning of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Blackhawks could be a dangerous underdog team.

"I was able to kind of hide back there until I started feeling comfortable," Crawford said. "Still don't think I'm at the top of my game, but it was definitely better today."

Podcast: Blackhawks move on with 3-2 series-clinching win over the Oilers

Podcast: Blackhawks move on with 3-2 series-clinching win over the Oilers

It's been 5 years since the Hawks have won a playoff series and it feels so good. Host Pat Boyle is joined by Blackhawks analyst Steve Konroyd as they discuss the series-clinching Game 4 win over the Oilers, the importance of the win, and a look ahead to what's next for the Hawks.

(1:10) - Hawks were given a lottery ticket into the playoffs this year

(6:41) - Hawks still need to fix a few things

(10:00) - Jeremy Colliton tried 2 different lines with Kane in the series

(15:30) - The young players on the Hawks stepped up big this series

(18:48) - How do the Hawks match up against the Vegas Knights and Colorado Avalanche?

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