Teammates praise Crawford's performance despite defeat
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Corey Crawford stood tall again for the Blackhawks on Sunday in Game 3, although there are certain to be some fans finding fault with Jason Zucker's goal in overtime that beat the goalie to the short side.
Crawford made 34 saves in the Hawks' 3-2 loss.
"We had great goaltending," Hawks captain Jonathan Toews said. "Crow kept us in that game all game and without him we probably wouldn't have stood a chance."
Toews felt the Hawks didn't handle the pressure put on them by the Wild and their fans.
"It's something we should expect, but we probably didn't play as well under that pressure," Toews said. "We've got to understand this is what it is. We've got to play a smarter road game and understand teams like that are going try to overwhelm you and we've got to come back with more. We didn't respond enough tonight."
Duncan Keith seconded Toews' thoughts on Crawford whom he called the team's best player in the loss.
"He was great," Keith said. "He made a lot of big plays and overall he was probably our best player tonight."
Crawford, who said he never had a bead on Zucker's goal, was asked if this was a series now.
"It's always been a series," Crawford said. "We never thought it was going to be easy at any point. We shouldn't think it's going to be easy. Whatever is done is done. We've just got to come back and battle and play our game."
Coach Q's thoughts:
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville was disappointed in his team's overtime loss.
"They definitely outplayed us," Quenneville said. "They played like they had to win and we didn't.
"Across the board we didn't produce as we would have liked, whether it was offensive zone time or shots on net. I think we have to get greasy goals if we want to be successful. We were too much on the outside. We've got to get determined in that tough area in front of the net."
You might have thought the Wild would have been deflated after Duncan Keith's goal with 2:46 left in regulation tied the game.
But Mike Yeo said just the opposite was true, that the intermission before overtime actually helped his team compose itself.
"That's what you have to deal with," Yeo said. "There are ups and downs through the course of the game and the same thing through the series. You have to be able to push that aside.
"Probably going in for a break helped us a little bit to reset and realize we've done a lot of good things in this game and if we keep doing them we've got a good chance."
Both Ray Emery and Dave Bolland (groins) skated before Game 4 on Sunday at Xcel Energy Center but neither played. Joel Quenneville didn't rule either player out of Game 4 on Tuesday.
"We'll see," Quenneville said.
Minnesota on Sunday morning announced it had recalled forwards Jake Dowell, Mikael Granlund and Stephane Veilleux from Houston of the AHL. ... Goalie Niklas Backstrom was hoping to return at some point in the series. "It's getting better," Backstrom said. "It's going to take time, but it's something you work on every day. Every day you wake up and hope it's better."... Right winger Jason Pominville (concussion) missed his third straight game.