Pittsburgh Penguins

Blackhawks receive Joseph Cramarossa from the Penguins in minor league trade

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USA Today

Blackhawks receive Joseph Cramarossa from the Penguins in minor league trade

The Blackhawks have acquired forward Joseph Cramarossa from the Pittsburgh Penguins for forward Graham Knott in a minor league trade. Cramarossa will report to the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League.

The 27-year-old had three points (two goals, one assist) in nine games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this AHL season. Cramarossa was the alternate captain during the 2018-19 in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, playing 56 regular-season games, scoring four goals.

Cramarossa was initially drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in the third round of the 2011 NHL Draft, making his NHL debut on the Ducks in 2016. He played with the Ducks until he was traded to the Vancouver in 2017, playing in 10 games for the Canucks. He signed with Calgary as a free agent in September 2017 before being acquired by the Penguins in February 2018. Throughout seven seasons in the AHL (2013-2019) playing for the Norfolk Admirals, San Diego Gulls, Stockton and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Cramarossa recorded 72 points (32G, 40A) in 294 regular-season games.

Graham Knott is a 22-year-old forward selected by the Blackhawks in the second round of the 2015 NHL draft. Knott had eight goals in 126 career games with the IceHogs. The Blackhawks have now traded their top draft selections from 2017, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2009. Only Dach (2019), Boqvist (2018) and DeBrincat (2016) remain from this decade.

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Four takeaways: Blackhawks' winning streak vs. Penguins ends at 10 games

Four takeaways: Blackhawks' winning streak vs. Penguins ends at 10 games

Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 3-2 shootout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on Saturday:

1. Blackhawks suffer first loss to Penguins in five years

The Blackhawks desperately needed a victory on Thursday against the Vancouver Canucks after a rough four-game road trip and they got it. But after the game, the Blackhawks acknowledged the fact that they need to start stringing together some wins after a pair of three- and four-game losing streaks to open the season.

They picked up a point for the fourth time in five games, but the Penguins got the second one in a shootout for their first victory against Chicago since March 30, 2014. The Penguins were 0-7-3 and had been outscored 43-16 for a goal differential of -27 over their previous 10 games against the Blackhawks.

2. Corey Crawford turns in another strong outing

Coming off a 36-save victory over the Canucks, the Blackhawks went back to Crawford between the pipes and gave him a second straight start for the first time since the opening two games of the season. And for good reason.

Going into Saturday's matchup, Crawford was 9-1-0 with a 1.66 goals-against average and .949 save percentage in 10 career starts against the Penguins. He stopped 29 of 31 shots for a save percentage of .936 on Saturday and turned aside all five shots in overtime. But he gave up two goals during the three-round shootout and suffered his sixth loss (second in overtime/shootout) of the season.

Over his last three starts, Crawford has .929 save percentage. His 1-0-2 record in that stretch doesn't reflect it, but he's been great as of late.

3. Patrick Kane heating up

After recording only one point in the final five games of October, Kane has opened November with a five-game point streak. He followed up his three-point effort on Thursday by scoring his third goal in his fourth game, snapping a shot past Penguins goaltender Matt Murray in the second period to put the Blackhawks up 2-0.

Kane is back to averaging above a point-per-game that we're used to seeing out of him, but he still hasn't reached his top level yet this season. He acknowledged at the beginning of the campaign that it sometimes takes him a while to get going, and perhaps we're seeing him kick into gear. The Blackhawks need him to.

4. Adam Boqvist and Kirby Dach take a breather

The Blackhawks held out top prospects Boqvist and Dach against the Penguins, but not for performance-based reasons. Head coach Jeremy Colliton said it was part of the plan going into the weekend. 

With it being the first of a back-to-back, the team felt that it was a good opportunity for the two teenagers to take a breather, both mentally and physically, as they try to get accustomed to the grind of an 82-game regular season schedule.

Dach logged 9:02 of ice time in Thursday’s 5-2 win and has only one shot on goal in his past four games. Boqvist had three shots on goal and a -1 rating in a season-low 12:18 of ice time against the Canucks. Expect both of them to be back in the lineup on Sunday vs. Toronto.

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Four takeaways: Blackhawks rally to beat Penguins for 10th straight time

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USA TODAY

Four takeaways: Blackhawks rally to beat Penguins for 10th straight time

Here are four takeaways from the Blackhawks' 5-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on Sunday:

1. A streak is snapped and extended

The Penguins went into Sunday having won a season-long eight games in a row. They also went into it on a nine-game losing skid against Chicago. One of the streaks was going to be broken. 

Fortunately for the Blackhawks, it was the former that ended and the latter that extended. 

The Blackhawks put up five goals — one an empty-netter — against a Penguins team that had allowed only nine total over their eight-game winning streak. And the Blackhawks did it by overcoming a 2-0 deficit to score five of the next six goals.

It was a gutsy comeback win by the Blackhawks, who improved to 7-3-2 since their eight-game losing streak.

2. Special teams play huge factor

The Blackhawks' special teams have been getting better over the last several weeks, and it came up large in Pittsburgh.

After cutting their deficit to 2-1 late in the third period thanks to a power-play goal, the Blackhawks quickly found themselves shorthanded and were also forced to kill a 5-on-3 penalty for 1:11 in the same sequence. It was a key moment, with the Blackhawks going into first intermission down by 1 when it could've been a multi-goal deficit.

As far as the power play, the Blackhawks converted on one of three opportunities but it felt like it should have been 3-for-3 because Duncan Keith scored his goal two seconds after the second penalty expired and Dylan Strome scored seven seconds after the third expired. 

Special teams were the No. 1 reason why the Blackhawks won, and it continues to trend in the right direction.

3. Chris Kunitz breaks through on old stomping grounds

The Penguins honored their 2009 Stanley Cup team on Sunday for their 10-year anniversary. It was cool that Kunitz was in town for it, having won three of his four Stanley Cups in Pittsburgh.

The Blackhawks showed a great sign of respect by including Kunitz in the starting lineup with Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad. But the memorable night didn't stop there.

In his 24th game this season, Kunitz finally found the back of the net for the first time in a Blackhawks sweater and it was only fitting that he broke through at his old stomping grounds. He got rid of the monkey off his back, which must have felt good after he's battled for ice time all year long.

4. Five different Blackhawks score

The Blackhawks got offensive contributions from up and down the lineup, and that's always a positive. Let's run it down:

— Two players scored their first goal of the season (Keith and Kunitz)

— DeBrincat scored on the power play for his 19th of the year

— Strome scored his seventh as a member of the Blackhawks

— Toews potted the empty-netter and also recorded an assist for his third six-game point streak of the season

— Patrick Kane had three assists for his 75th career three-point outing in the NHL

— Four of the six defensemen recorded at least one point

When you're firing on all cylinders and getting primary and secondary scoring, most times you're going to end up with two points. And the Blackhawks did.