The Chicago Blackhawks got a major scare tonight in the form of a possible Corey Crawford injury, but he returned against the Pittsburgh Penguins and helped his team post a 2-1 road victory
Goaltender Corey Crawford going down with an injury is about as appealing to the Chicago Blackhawks as a hole in the head. It’d probably have a similar effect on this team, too.
But that’s exactly what the Blackhawks saw happen in tonight’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins, when Evgeni Malkin‘s knee appeared to make contact with Crow’s head as the two chased a puck.
Some will say this is a flop, but I think it’s pretty clear Malkin’s back knee/leg clips Crow. Considering he has a history of concussion issues, I’d say it’s irresponsible to call out Crow for an alleged flop — which several Pens fans did by booing him off the ice.
But Crow returned, and he backstopped the Blackhawks to a 2-1 road win and a regular-season series sweep of the Penguins.
Highlights from the win
Gustav Forsling collected his second goal in as many games, though it was a bit lucky. Still, Jonathan Toews won a faceoff, and Alex DeBrincat scrummed into the circle area to collect the puck and dish it to Forsling, who was stationed in the circle to Matt Murray’s left,
Forsling flung the puck 5-hole, and it somehow squeaked through Murray and into the net for a 1-0 Blackhawks lead midway through the first period.
It’s good to see Forsling chip in positively of late after a rough start to the season. It’s also good to see Chicago score on the powerplay, as Forsling did here.
Crow’s injury scare was sandwiched between that goal and the next, which didn’t occur until midway through the third period. The Blackhawks were on the powerplay yet again, but the Penguins had possession in Chicago’s zone.
But just 21 seconds later, Artem Anisimov stayed hot with his fifth goal in three games, coming on that same powerplay. Nick Schmaltz‘s in-tight shot produced a Murray rebound that bounced off the end boards and to Anisimov on the opposite side of the cage. He tucked home a shot while being checked to the ice, for what wound up being the winning score.
Crow came up with some nice stops down the stretch, including this stunner with less than a minute to play in regulation (props to Brent Seabrook for doing what he does best anymore as an assist: lying on the ice).
So the Blackhawks have improved to 10-8-2 on the season and have another bizarre break. Their next game isn’t until Wednesday in Tampa Bay, where Chicago will meet a team that suffered just its third regulation loss Saturday, 5-3 to the New York Islanders.
The Blackhawks get a nice bit of momentum from this game, but the hope is that Crow is not injured in any way. Some would say he wouldn’t have been back in the game had he suffered an injury, but Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury would beg to differ.
The Blackhawks face a serious test in Tampa Bay, the best team in the league thus far this season. Be on the lookout for some content preparing everyone for that affair.