The Chicago Blackhawks special teams did their job, on both sides of the puck. And an injury to Corey Crawford, which looked very bad at first, might not be that after all. Patrick Sharp scored one of the team’s three power-play goals, and Antti Raanta stopped 29-of-31 in place of an injured Crawford as the Blackhawks beat the Florida Panthers, 6-2, at the United Center on Sunday night. The victory snapped a three-game winless streak for the Blackhawks, who got great things out of their power play and penalty kill. But the main concern was for Crawford, who was injured with just more than six minutes remaining in the first period. He struggled to move laterally after a right-pad save on Marcel Goc’s shot, and play was halted. Crawford, with the help of a trainer, headed to the locker room. As bad as Crawford’s injury looked originally, coach Joel Quenneville sounded optimistic about the goaltender. “I haven’t talked to the docs yet, but I don’t think it’s too serious,” he said. “But when it’s a goalie, it’s a little more serious than other players because of how important he is to the team. We’ll have a better assessment tomorrow, but we’re thinking along those lines (of prognosis).” The goaltending situation almost got really interesting, as Raanta took a hit to the head late in the third period. But Raanta shook it off and continued. “I knew it was not so bad, even though my head was a little hurt,” he said. “I knew I had to play to the end. I didn’t even want to act like I was hurt. I had a good talk with (Blackhawks head trainer) Mike Gapski on the ice.” Still, it had the Blackhawks wondering who would suit up at goaltender in just such an emergency.
Blackhawks beat Panthers to win game, but lose Crawford
CSN Chicago | Dec 9