Blackhawks

'Smart' Blackhawks get some revenge in Vancouver

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'Smart' Blackhawks get some revenge in Vancouver

VANCOUVER, British Columbia The Blackhawks goal against Vancouver was pretty simple: stay disciplined, stay smart and keep the Canucks power play off the ice.

Done, done and done.

Five different Blackhawks scored goals, and the Blackhawks tallied power play goals instead of giving them up in their 5-1 victory over the Canucks at Rogers Arena. It was a pretty dominating performance by the Blackhawks, who after allowing the Canucks five power-play goals 10 days ago, didnt give the Canucks one advantage on Wednesday.

We talked about it in the morning skate. Thats the key against this team, said Marian Hossa, who had three assists. For some reason we got into penalty trouble and it cost us the game at home. Tonight we were more disciplined.

Andrew Brunette and Patrick Kane scored power-play goals, and Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp and Steve Montador also scored for the Blackhawks. Corey Crawford was strong again, stopping 28 of 29 shots en route to his ninth victory of the season.

But its what they didnt give up that was just as important as what they produced.

We werent disciplined with the way we played (last time) and tonight that was the focus coming in, Brunette said. Vancouver came at us pretty good early, we hung in there and took the game over.

Yes they did.

The Canucks came out stronger in the first period and by early in the second period the Blackhawks were down 1-0 early in the second period on Jannik Hansens goal. But by the end of the period and thanks to that surging power play, the Blackhawks would have a lead they wouldnt relinquish.

And in a matchup thats usually full of venom and vinegar, this one was pretty quiet. The Blackhawks just hummed along, playing a simple and solid road game to start this lengthy trip.

I think we just played much smarter and, maybe not relaxed, but a patient game, said Toews, who also had an assist. They got a lot of shots from the point, and for the most part when we did get into trouble we were being smart and not making it worse than it was.

The Blackhawks are clicking right now. They needed a smart, disciplined game, not only to start this road trip but especially against this team and in this building. And they got it.

Sometimes when youre in this building you just have to find a way to weather the storm, Toews said. Theyre a fast-moving team. We played smart and just found a way to make it work.

Briefly

Dave Bolland started on the fourth line Wednesday but was back at his usual checking-line center spot a few shifts into the game. Bolland played a little over 14 minutes, recording three takeaways.

Montador now has three goals in his last two games. Montador was a plus-1 on Wednesday night and is now plus-9 on the season.

Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford's 250th win puts him in elite company

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AP

Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford's 250th win puts him in elite company

Corey Crawford captured a coveted goalie milestone with another solid performance in a 2-1 shootout victory for the Blackhawks on Friday in New Jersey. The Hawks (12-12-5) beat the Atlantic division-leading Bruins 4-3 in overtime in Boston with Robin Lehner in net on Thursday before playing the Devils, last in the Metropolitan, Friday with Crawford starting. 

"It's important to try to climb back up in the standings," Crawford said following the game. "We had a few tough games, it seems like it's been pretty streaky the first quarter of the season, but when we're playing well I think we're pretty tough to beat. We just got to try to find that game as much as possible. 

"But that was obviously a big win to start it and against one of the best teams in the league (the Bruins) and having a big lead too, going late into the third period, and then a team that's a little bit lower in the standings (the Devils), but you still have to come out hard and play, no games are easy. It was pretty competitive out there but it's nice to find a way to win." 

The two-time Stanley Cup champ saved 29 of 30 shots through overtime, including a Miles Wood breakaway with 11 seconds remaining in the second period and the game tied 1-1. He also stopped three of five New Jersey Devils shooters including Taylor Hall and 2019 No. 1 overall pick Jack Hughes in the shootout. 

Crawford became the 59th goalie in NHL history to record 250 wins. The 34-year-old is one of 13 active NHL goalies and just the third Hawks netminder to reach the milestone (Glen Hall: 276, Tony Esposito: 418).

Crawford is 250-149-52 in 464 games with the Blackhawks and has 26 shutouts. 

5 Takeaways: Kirby Dach leads Blackhawks to 2-1 win in shootout vs. Devils

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AP

5 Takeaways: Kirby Dach leads Blackhawks to 2-1 win in shootout vs. Devils

The Blackhawks won 2-1 against the New Jersey Devils in a shootout on Friday. Here are five takeaways:

Top to bottom

The Hawks were looking to establish some momentum in Jersey following a big win Thursday in Boston. Jonathan Toews scored in overtime and Alex DeBrincat ended a 12-game goal drought to help the Hawks to a 4-3 OT win over the Bruins, ending the Blackhawks' 3-game losing streak in which they were outscored 16-5. 

Going from facing the first place team in the Atlantic division (second in the NHL) on Thursday to the last place team in the Metropolitan division (second to last in the league) on Friday proved to be tougher than imagined. 

Alex DeBrincat scored the lone regulation goal for Chicago and Kirby Dach, the No. 3 pick of the 2019 NHL Draft, scored the final goal of the shootout and set up No. 1 pick Jack Hughes to get stopped by Corey Crawford for the 2-1 final score. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane also scored in the shootout for the Blackhawks.

Crow 250

Corey Crawford won his 250th NHL game on Friday. The two-time Stanley Cup champ is the 59th goalie in NHL history to reach the milestone and one of 13 active netminders to do so. The 34-year-old is the third goalie to reach 250 wins with the Blackhawks. 

Crawford saved 29 of 30 New Jersey shots ahead of the shootout. 

Cat on the prowl 

DeBrincat scored his second goal in two games after not lighting the lamp in his previous 12. This is a good sign for the forward, who is known to score in bunches.

Gilbert getting noticed

Dennis Gilbert skated in his second straight game with the Hawks with Olli Maatta (flu-like symptoms) missing both contents on the road trip. Gilbert had a solid game in Boston Thursday and improved his case Friday, putting a big hit on Hughes then having a decent showing after answering the bell with Wayne Simmonds.

Kane watch

Kane tied Andy Bathgate for 93rd on the NHL career points list (973), assisting on DeBrincat's second period goal.