Blackhawks Feast On Home Cooking, Win Game 3
By Chuck Sudo in News on Apr 22, 2014 1:30PM
The Blackhawks had their backs to the proverbial wall after losing the first two games of their Stanley Cup Playoff series against the St. Louis Blues in demoralizing fashion. Although there was plenty of blame to go around for the losses the player who arguably shouldered the majority of the load was goalie Corey Crawford, who allowed late goals that tied the games and force overtime, where the Blues won both.
Crawford accepted responsibility and promised to play better in Game 3 and he did just that. Crawford stopped 34 shots and proved to be impenetrable in the Blackhawks 2-0 Game 3 win at the United Center Monday night. ”Losing back-to-back in OT, after having the lead in the third and having them tie it up late, that's definitely hard to take,” Crawford said after the game. "But this group has gone through some pretty tough moments the last couple years. Even this year, we've gone through some tough things and we've always been able to just stay calm and have that confidence. Our leaders do a great job of that. They set the tone and everyone else just follows."
Jonathan Toews set the tone early with a nifty wrist shot that ate up Blues goalie Ryan Miller.
From that moment on it was mostly Crawford with some help from the Hawks penalty killing unit. The Hawks killed three more St. Louis power plays in the game and St. Louis is now 1-for-16 with a man advantage in the series.
The Blues attempted to goad the Hawks into more sloppy play in the second period but Chicago kept their composure and continued to play their game. In the third period St. Louis camped out in front of the Hawks net and placed 11 shots on goal. Crawford proved amazing throughout, especially as he smothered a wrist shot by Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo with 43 seconds left in regulation. Marcus Kruger added an empty net goal as insurance.
Toews had nothing but praise for Crawford's performance and leadership after the game.
“It just sets an example for everyone in this room when you have guys with attitudes like that, that are very selfless and not thinking about themselves and whether they’re being criticized or not,” Toews said. “He wants to win. That’s all that matters to him. And I think that shows a lot to the rest of the guys in the room.”