With the Blackhawks clinging to a one-goal lead midway through the third period, Corey Crawford was ready to stop anything that came his way. But the goaltender didn't have to as his Hawks teammates threw themselves in front of everything the Hurricanes sent toward the net to lock down a 3-2 victory Friday night at the United Center. The Hurricanes failed to record a shot on goal during the final 9 minutes, 40 seconds of the game and during a final-minute scramble, the Hawks came up with four blocks — two by Ben Smith — to seal their second consecutive victory. "That's a game we can take a look back on during the playoffs when we were able to shut a team down," said Crawford, who made 26 saves. "That's the way you want to play. You don't want to give them any opportunities to tie it up. That was some solid play." Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp and Kris Versteeg scored to provide the offense for Crawford and help the Hawks extend their points streak to four and pull within four points of the idle Blues in the Central Division and take a three-point lead on the Avalanche, who lost to the Bruins. Alexander Semin had both tallies for the Hurricanes but it wasn't enough as Anton Khudobin suffered the loss in goal. The Hawks prevailed despite the absences of Patrick Kane (left knee), Bryan Bickell (upper body), Brandon Saad (upper body) and Michal Rozsival (lower body) from the lineup.
Blackhawks defense comes to fore in 3-2 victory over Hurricanes
Chicago Tribune | Mar 22