Chicago Blackhawks' Forsberg comes back strong

Seventy seconds into the Blackhawks' 4-1 victory over Edmonton on Sunday, Connor McDavid stripped Brandon Saad, flew past Duncan Keith and was poised to give his team a quick 1-0 lead.

But Anton Forsberg would have nothing of it.

As McDavid brought the puck to his forehand in the blue paint - just inches away from Forsberg - the Hawks' goalie lunged to his right and managed to keep one of the best players in the world from scoring.

"I saw him coming with a lot of speed there," said Forsberg, who went on to make 31 more saves. "I was happy I could stop that first one."

Said coach Joel Quenneville, who went back to Forsberg after using Jeff Glass for four straight games: "That helped him right off the bat, and us getting a couple of goals was good as well."

Forsberg (2-5-3) said he's generally happy with how he's played this season, but he would like to be more consistent. His teammates were just thrilled they finally gave him some goal support. The Hawks averaged just 2.11 goals in Forsberg's previous nine starts.

"So happy for him," said Nick Schmaltz. "He's worked hard all year and we haven't really (had) the best efforts in front of him. He's had some strong games where we haven't gotten the win.

"It's great to see him put up a big game like that for us."

Injury update:

There is still no timetable for the return of Corey Crawford or Artem Anisimov, both on injured reserve with upper-body injuries. Coach Joel Quenneville indicated there was some chance Anisimov could get back on the ice before the Hawks' bye week, which is Jan. 15-18.

Crawford is 16-9-2 this season, while backups Anton Forsberg and Jeff Glass are a combined 4-6-4.

"Obviously you know how important he was to our team all year long," Quenneville said. "There's a huge opportunity for other guys.

"We've had some years that were relatively injury free. This year was looking pretty clean for a while, but this can happen."

Bright future:

Tony Granato, who coaches Wisconsin and the U.S. Men's Olympic hockey teams, was at the United Center on Sunday and raved about Blackhawks prospect Joshua Ess.

Ess, a seventh-round draft pick of the Hawks in June, is a defenseman on the Badgers and hails from Lakeville, Minnesota.

"For a seventh-round draft pick, that's an outstanding pick," Granato said. "Great poise, great confidence. He's a sponge - when you try to teach him something, he gets it immediately. ...

"He's a couple years away, but he'll be on that (United Center) ice soon."

Slap shots:

Connor Murphy, Cody Franson and John Hayden were the healthy scratches against Edmonton. It was Murphy's first scratch since Game 12 and just Hayden's second of the season. … Jonathan Toews' string of three straight games with multiple points came to an end against the Oilers. The last time he had multiple points in four straight was Feb. 14-March 5, 2010 when he had a goal and 7 assists. Toews did have an assist against the Oilers. … Jordan Oesterle has played 20 or more minutes in eight straight games. … Michal Kempny (4) and Brent Seabrook (4) combined for 8 of the Hawks' 12 blocked shots.

Chicago Blackhawks goalie Anton Forsberg, right, celebrates with center Jonathan Toews and defenseman Gustav Forsling (42) after they defeated the Edmonton Oilers in an NHL hockey game Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, in Chicago. Associated Press
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