Chicago Blackhawks: Five Thoughts On Overtime Win Over Leafs

By Juliana Nikac
Mar 18, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs left wing James van Riemsdyk (25) cannot convert on a scoring opportunity in front of Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) at Air Canada Centre. The Blackhawks beat the Maple Leafs 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 18, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs left wing James van Riemsdyk (25) cannot convert on a scoring opportunity in front of Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) at Air Canada Centre. The Blackhawks beat the Maple Leafs 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 18, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs left wing James van Riemsdyk (25) cannot convert on a scoring opportunity in front of Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) at Air Canada Centre. The Blackhawks beat the Maple Leafs 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 18, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs left wing James van Riemsdyk (25) cannot convert on a scoring opportunity in front of Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) at Air Canada Centre. The Blackhawks beat the Maple Leafs 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports /

With a 2-1 win in overtime over the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Chicago Blackhawks have a five-point lead for first in the Central division.

Hockey Night in Canada is always fun, and so are the Chicago Blackhawks as of late. This was a classic matchup between two Original Six teams, but the visiting team prevailed in this one. After a bit of a sluggish first period, the Blackhawks were all over the ice in the second and third periods. Newly-signed rookie John Hayden scored his first NHL in his second game, and Ryan Hartman won it for the Hawks in overtime. Chicago is now 46-20-5 on the season with a sweep of the eastern Canada road trip. They sit five points ahead of the Minnesota Wild for first in the Central Division thanks to the win, and the Rangers beating the Wild.

The Blackhawks now have 11 games remaining on the season, and they’ve won four in a row. Everything seems to be coming together for them. And despite both Artem Anisimov and Marian Hossa not playing in this one, the Hawks still seem to have a lot of fire power. The team is now 8-2-0 in their last ten games, and have won 11 out of their last 12 on the road. They took advantage of a team that’s gone 4-3-3 in their last ten games, but played with intensity. It was their first time in the last five games that the Blackhawks had 30 shots or more in the game.

So what can we gather from the Blackhawks’ latest victory? Here are five thoughts on their big win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Crow My Goodness

He only faced 26 shots in this game, but Corey Crawford came up with some timely saves throughout the game. After taking a Shea Weber slapshot to the head in the Canadiens game earlier this week, there was some doubt Crow was going to play at all for the rest of the road trip. And while he looked slightly shaky to start, he settled down as the game went on. He stopped Auston Matthews point-blank twice, and stoned James van Riemsdyk on a breakaway in overtime.

Crawford now has a 28-15-3 record this season, as well as a .920 save percentage. He also has a .938 save percentage in the past five games. For those of you who don’t really pay attention to statistics, that’s kind of good. Actually, it’s really good. With the combination of Crawford and Scott Darling, the Blackhawks have one of the best goaltender duos in the entire NHL. And everyone knows it

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