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updated: 6/2/2013 11:47 PM

Hawks goalie Crawford doing it all

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  • Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford and teammate Jonathan Toews watch the puck roll away from Los Angeles Kings left wing Dustin Penner in the second period as he charged the net during Game 2 of the NHL Western Conference finals at the United Center Sunday night in Chicago.

      Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford and teammate Jonathan Toews watch the puck roll away from Los Angeles Kings left wing Dustin Penner in the second period as he charged the net during Game 2 of the NHL Western Conference finals at the United Center Sunday night in Chicago.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford leans out of the net to make a save against the Los Angeles Kings during Game 2 of the NHL Western Conference finals at the United Center Sunday night in Chicago.

      Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford leans out of the net to make a save against the Los Angeles Kings during Game 2 of the NHL Western Conference finals at the United Center Sunday night in Chicago.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
 

The guy is amazing.

He's quick as a cat.

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Side to side, up or down, doesn't matter -- the guy seems to stop everything he sees. And, as Patrick Sharp noted after Game 1, he even seems to stop things he doesn't see.

What can't L.A. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick do?

Well, so far in the playoffs, the answer would be this: beat the Blackhawks, who went up 2-0 in the Western Conference finals courtesy of their 4-2 victory Sunday night at the United Center.

And while Quick got all the accolades in the series opener for turning away 34 of 36 shots, including all 17 he faced in the first period, Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford, almost under the radar, turned away 21 of 22 in leading the Hawks to a 2-1 win.

And then there was Crow's performance in the opening 20 minutes of Game 2.

One could argue that it was just as impressive as Quick's first period the previous night ... and one would probably be right.

"Yeah, it's competitive," Crawford said of his battle with Quick. "You want to beat the other guy on the other side obviously. "My focus is more on their players, what they're doing. But yeah, I definitely want to beat him."

A night after facing a total of 2 shots from the Kings in the opening 20 minutes, things changed big-time as L.A. came out looking for redemption with guns a-blazin'.

The Kings' offense was relentless, peppering Crawford with 13 shots, many of them in the Prime A scoring category -- like the 3-shot frenzy he handled shortly after Andrew Shaw had given the Hawks a 1-0 lead just two minutes in.

Or the sprawling save he made on Tyler Toffoli, necessitated by a bad bounce off the end boards.

Whatever the Kings threw at him -- including a hard-charging Justin Williams at one point -- Crawford had the answer.

"Unbelievable," Shaw said. "Stopping everything -- even things he can't see."

Quick, on the other hand, had few answers and got the Quick hook midway through the second period after allowing a goal by Michal Handzus, the fourth to get past him in 17 shots.

On the other end it was just another rock-solid night for Crawford, who stopped 29 of the 31 shots he faced to improve to 10-4 in the playoffs.

But it wasn't just his play between the pipes that endeared Crawford to the sellout house Sunday. It was the fact that midway through the third period he raced out of the net to help a teammate in need -- Jonathan Toews -- tearing the Kings' Kyle Clifford away from the Hawks captain.

"The guy grabbed him, got in a couple free shots," Crawford said. "I figured it was enough. I just decided to go in there and grab his head."

Toews and the rest of Crawford's teammates appreciated the effort.

"It's nice to have your goaltender looking out for you like that," Toews said.

Added Shaw: "Standing up for a teammate. The boys loved that on the bench and obviously the fans did, too."

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