Corey Crawford made a career-high 48 saves in his hometown as the visiting Chicago Blackhawks won their fifth in a row, 2-0 over the struggling Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.
Crawford, who missed 28 games in the middle of the season due to concussion issues, posted his second shutout of 2018-19 and owns a 1.48 goals-against average during a five-game winning streak. Crawford and the Blackhawks find themselves on a nice roll while trying to remain in the hunt for a playoff spot.
Meanwhile, Montreal didn’t help its pursuit of getting back into playoff position by losing for the fourth time in five games. The Canadiens are 6-10-1 following an impressive 8-1-1 stretch.
Montreal put the heat on Crawford with quality chances early, blasting six shots on net through the first seven minutes. However, the Canadiens had nothing to show for it. As did the Blackhawks, who had their share of opportunities on Montreal’s Carey Price (22 saves).
Chicago did break through at 3:03 into the second period. Defenseman Connor Murphy dropped deep in the zone, took a centering pass from Dylan Strome and blasted the puck past the glove of Price. It was Murphy’s fourth goal of the season and third point in four games.
Montreal continued to pepper Crawford, who was stellar throughout the night. With just over eight minutes to play in the second, he stopped a point-blank rebound shot from Artturi Lehkonen.
The Canadiens had four power-play opportunities on the night, but were left frustrated by Crawford. It was the fifth time this season Montreal has been shut out.
Chicago provided Crawford with some insurance as Brendan Perlini scored 4:49 into the third. For Pelini, it was his eighth goal over a seven-game stretch and his 13th of the season.
Alex DeBrincat added two assists for the Blackhawks, who are 12-5-1 on the road since Dec. 20 and have won five straight at Montreal. DeBrincat has seven points in his last six games.
Crawford’s previous career high was 46 saves in a 2-1 win against Edmonton on March 6, 2015.
—Field Level Media