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Colorado at Chicago

Crawford blanks Avs for back-to-back shutouts

CBSSports.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Corey Crawford showed again why he's become the Chicago Blackhawks' No. 1 goalie.

The 26-year-old rookie made 24 saves Wednesday for his second straight shutout and the defending Stanley Cup champions finally solved the Colorado Avalanche with a 4-0 victory.

"I think he improves every day, he's learning the league, he's more familiar with his defense in front of him," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said of Crawford after his team's third straight victory. "He's been consistent all year for us, he's very confident. ... When you get on a roll, the puck looks big to you."

Crawford preserved his shutout -- the third of his career -- with two nice stops on Philippe Dupuis early in the third and then snuffed T.J. Galiardi on a short-handed breakaway late in the period. Crawford is now 14-3-1 in his last 18 starts dating to Nov. 14 and has taken the top goalie spot away from veteran Marty Turco.

He also blanked the Islanders 5-0 on Sunday.

"We've got our full team now, so that's nice," Crawford said, referring to the Blackhawks' injury problems this season that sidelined the likes of Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane and Brian Campbell for extended periods.

"It seems I'm getting bounces, too. When the other team has a wide-open net, it bobbles on them. And our defensemen are stepping out on point shots, blocking those. And the forwards are making efforts to block shots," Crawford added.

Dave Bolland and Fernando Pisani had a goal and an assist apiece for the Blackhawks, Troy Brouwer scored an early goal and Jack Skille added a score in the final period off a rebound.

It was Chicago's first win in four games against the Avalanche this season in their final regular-season meeting.

"Early in that game, we might have put one in and it would have been a different game, but we didn't," said Colorado scoring leader Matt Duchene. "Give their goalie credit, he played great. They made it pretty tough on us, but we didn't play our game."

Brouwer scored on a rebound 7:08 into the game, collecting the puck after a slap shot by Duncan Keith was stopped by Peter Budaj and the Avalanche didn't clear.

Forty seconds later, Pisani's shot at the goal went off the boards behind the net and ricocheted to the other side to a wide open Bolland, who converted into an empty net with Budaj out of position.

"We got down two, three goals. It's not a recipe for winning," Avalanche coach Joe Sacco said. "You've got to be ready to start the game on time. We just weren't ready for the pace and intensity of that game."

Bolland's nifty pass from above the right circle hit Pisani in stride just as he reached the left side of the net and he tipped it in to put Chicago ahead 3-0 at 10:17 of the second.

Chicago, ranked 28th in penalty killing entering the game, fought off two power plays in the first period behind solid play from Crawford, who stopped nine shots.

"Since I've been with him he's been unbelievable," Bollard said of Crawford, also his teammate in the minors. "Now he's getting his time in the NHL."

Notes

  • When the glass above the boards was cracked with 2:07 left in the second period, the teams retreated to their locker rooms while it was being repaired. After the intermission, the teams then played the final 2:07 of the second just before beginning the third with a short break in between so the goalies could switch ends.
  • Avalanche D Kevin Shattenkirk, who didn't play Monday night in a win over Detroit because of a foot injury, was back in the lineup. Winger Cody McLeod, who'd been sidelined 10 of the previous 11 games with a groin injury, was scratched again.
  • Most deflating of the three previous losses to the Avalanche for the Blackhawks was Colorado's 7-5 win in mid-December. That's when the Avalanche, trailing 5-4, scored three goals in the final 2:24.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Corey Crawford makes a diving save on a shot by Paul Stastny (26) to earn his third career shutout. (Getty Images)
Corey Crawford makes a diving save on a shot by Paul Stastny (26) to earn his third career shutout. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Colorado (22-16-6)0000
Chicago  (24-18-3) «2114
Three Stars
C. Crawford
CHI


Saves: 24
Save Pct.: 1.000
D. Bolland
CHI


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
F. Pisani
CHI


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
07:08 - Troy Brouwer (11), Backhand Shot. Assist: Keith, Kane
07:48 - Dave Bolland (7), Wrist Shot. Assist: Pisani, Seabrook
2ND PERIOD
10:17 - Fernando Pisani (7), Wrist Shot. Assist: Bolland
3RD PERIOD
08:36 - Jack Skille (7), Backhand Shot. Assist: Seabrook
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
03:14Stalberg, 2 min, Interference
12:57Sharp, 2 min, High-Sticking
2ND PERIOD
None
3RD PERIOD
09:25Bickell, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
12:27Hunwick, 2 min, Hooking
16:24Kopecky, 2 min, Hooking
16:47Dupuis, 2 min, Tripping
19:21Foote, 2 min, Elbowing
Shots On Goal
 123T
COL99624
CHI7131131
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Peter Budaj60:00274
Corey Crawford59:58240
Game Information
Attendance - 21356
Referees - Ghislain Hebert, Wes McCauley
Linesmen - Dan Schachte, Brian Mach
 
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