The heat will never be off Corey Crawford until he masters the Antti Niemi art of allowing four or five goals only when his team scores six or seven.

But the way the Blackhawks have been going, Crawford allowing one when his team scores two or three will maintain his status as a goaltender the Hawks might be able to win it all with. Or at least the best chance they've got.

After the 3-1 victory Sunday over the St. Louis Blues in a ''Hockey Day in America'' matinee before 22,077 fans at the United Center, the Hawks have won three consecutive games with Crawford after breaking a nine-game losing streak in New York against the Rangers last week.