If this keeps up, even the Blackhawks will have to realize how special it is what they're doing.
Jonathan Toews scored 2 goals and Ray Emery came on in relief of injured starter Corey Crawford to share the shutout Thursday night as the Hawks extended their record streak to 20 games without a regulation loss to start the season in a 3-0 victory over the St. Louis Blues.
Hawks game dayColumbus Blue Jackets at the United Center, 7:30 p.m. Friday
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Radio: WGN 720-AM
The skinny: The Blue Jackets are back again, just four days after losing 1-0 to the Hawks. Columbus (5-12-3) is last in the Western Conference and battered physically. The Blue Jackets are without defensemen James Wisniewski (broken foot) and Jack Johnson (upper body), center Brandon Dubinsky (sprained knee) and forward Derrick Brassard (upper body). Center Artem Anisimov (concussion) is questionable. Ray Emery is expected to start in goal for the Hawks.
Season series: Hawks lead 2-0.
Next: Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena, 11:30 a.m. Sunday
-- Tim Sassone
Many people thought this would be the game in which the streak might end, but the Hawks (17-0-3) never trailed after Toews scored on the first shift of the game at the 12-second mark.
"That's the start you want, particularly on the road," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville told reporters.
Crawford started but left the game with an upper-body injury after making 6 saves in the first period.
Quenneville said this latest injury was not related to the one Crawford suffered Feb. 12 against Anaheim. That was believed to be a concussion.
"It's not the same thing," Quenneville said.
Crawford appeared fine until late in the period, when he became wobbly at the horn and stumbled coming off the ice.
Emery came on in a tough spot but was sharp in the second period, particularly on a Blues power play past the midpoint when he robbed Chris Stewart and Patrick Berglund moments apart.
"Ray was solid, and so was Corey," Quenneville said. "Our team game today, led by the goalies, was really strong in all zones and our penalty killing, they did a great job against the top power play in the league."
The Blues were 0-for-4 on the power play.
"We've had some good games to date, but that might have been the best," Quenneville said after watching his team win its seventh straight.
Emery had 15 saves and made the early goal by Toews hold up. Toews got his eighth goal of the year, finishing a nice passing play with Brandon Saad and Marian Hossa.
The play was reviewed because the puck went in off Toews' skate.
"Saad made a nice pass," Toews told Comcast SportsNet. "It was nice to get a bounce like that."
Andrew Shaw took a pass from Bryan Bickell and beat Jaroslav Halak from in the slot at 2:11 of the third period to make it 2-0.
It was the fifth goal of the season for Shaw as the third line of Shaw, Bickell and Viktor Stalberg continued to produce.
Toews got his second goal and ninth of the season minutes later at 6:56 on a Nick Leddy rebound. Hossa gave Leddy a perfect saucer pass to open up a lane for the shot.
Quenneville spoke of the specialness of the 20-game streak.
"I think we're taking pride in it and playing the game that's in front of us," Quenneville said. "We're being consistent and everybody is challenging one another and taking responsibility to enhance our team game.
"Obviously, it's a special start. Game in and game out it's different guys on that particular night. But commend the guys and their preparation and focus and dedication to keep getting better. I think we'll keep pushing for that."
• Follow Tim's hockey reports on Twitter @TimSassone and check out his Between the Circles blog at blogs.dailyherald.com.