Corey Crawford returned to practice on Thursday after getting cleared from his upper-body injury. He felt good, he said. It was just his timing he thought was a little off.
Apparently, his timing has caught up again.
Crawford stopped all 28 shots he faced for his second shutout of the season, and Andrew Shaw had the game-winner as the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 1-0 on Sunday. The Blackhawks improved their league-record start, now 18 straight games without a regulation loss (15-0-3).
The Blackhawks were without Dave Bolland, who is day-to-day from an upper-body injury suffered against San Jose on Friday. Coach Joel Quenneville said he wasn’t sure what Bolland’s status was for Monday night’s game against the Edmonton Oilers. In his place, Marcus Kruger was a strong replacement at second-line center.
And it was secondary scoring once again for the Blackhawks, as Shaw scored on a beautiful feed from Bryan Bickell in the second period. Crawford, and the Blackhawks’ defense, did the rest.
“He was good tonight. He was quick, big, especially on side-to-side plays,” coach Joel Quenneville said of Crawford. “He tracked the puck extremely well. It looked like he wasn’t off for any time at all. He had a couple of days there (to prepare) and was ready. Great response.”
For Crawford, playing in his first game in nearly two weeks after getting hurt Feb. 12 against Anaheim, the injured but determined Blue Jackets provided a good test. Crawford was up to it, staying poised and making some of his best saves during the Blackhawks’ five penalty kills.
“It was pretty exciting to get back into it. It seems like things haven't changed. Everyone's playing hard, making the right plays, not turning pucks over and guys are coming back to help out our ‘D,’” said Crawford, who added he felt good tonight.
Hawks win again
CSN Chicago | Feb 25