Toews comes through again for Chicago Blackhawks
History was made at the United Center on Monday night, and the Blackhawks were more than happy to be on the right side of it.
By defeating the Anaheim Ducks 1-0 in overtime, the Hawks (according to Elias Sports Bureau) became the first team since OT was reintroduced in the 1983-84 season to post back-to-back overtime shutout wins.
Just like two nights earlier when he beat Tampa Bay, Jonathan Toews rode to the rescue again as he beat Frederik Andersen top shelf, 51 seconds into OT.
The Hawks (6-3-0) have won four straight, the last three coming after Duncan Keith's knee surgery. Anaheim (1-5-2) was shut out for the fifth time in just eight games.
"Not very often you're going to have two games exactly like that in back-to-back fashion at home against two top teams and you come out on top," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "So we're very pleased with the result."
Corey Crawford turned away 39 shots, including 8 by Corey Perry. Crawford has stopped 76 of 78 shots in the last three games for a .974 save percentage.
"Crow was great," Quenneville said. "I thought that was the thing that stood out tonight."
The Ducks had the first chances in overtime, but Crawford stood tall on attempts by Cam Fowler and Ryan Getzlaf. Toews then gained control of the puck when Getzlaf carelessly tried a no-look pass in his own zone.
After Brent Seabrook hit Patrick Kane, Kane left the puck for a charging Toews, and it was game over seconds later after the Hawks' captain raced by a flat-footed Getzlaf.
"It can go either way (in 3-on-3)," Toews said. "Huge stops by a goaltender, goes down the other way and you (just) need one opening, one defensive mistake. They're easy to make out there 3-on-3."
The Hawks thought they had taken the lead with 5:25 to go in regulation on a one-timer by Artemi Panarin. The play was blown dead, however, after Frederik Andersen's left skate had knocked the net off its moorings just a split second before Panarin took a pass from Kane.
"I don't think he kicked it off on purpose," Crawford said. "He pushed over to cover the post and Kaner made a quick play back in front."
Said Andersen: "That's something every goalie does now, they use the post to gain balance. The rubber thing inside the post kind of gave way. It was fine the whole game, but I guess I was too strong there."
Anaheim's best chance came when Perry raced in all alone on Crawford in the second period. Perry's rocket got past Crawford, but the puck hit the left post.
The Ducks haven't scored a goal in the last 128 minutes, 36 seconds, but Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau was happy with his team's effort Monday.
"We were in their face all night long and we were after them," he said. "Unfortunately right now goals are really difficult to come by. … On most nights, you're getting 3 and 4 in that game."
The Hawks' next two games are at Winnipeg and Minnesota before they return home to face Los Angeles and St. Louis next week. If they can continue to win without Keith, it would be the best of so many worlds.
"(Keith) gets a little bit of a rest as well through this period," Quenneville said. "The best thing for us is we get some young defensemen playing quality time. That can help their games and help their confidence and gets us deeper back there.
"Hopefully you can find out a little bit more in knowing there could be more of an equal distribution of minutes as the season progresses."
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