Corey Crawford got nod in home opener, but going forward?
Although Corey Crawford allowed 4 goals to Philadelphia in Prague last week, coach Jeremy Colliton still gave his veteran netminder the nod for the Chicago Blackhawks' home opener against San Jose on Thursday night.
But after another uneven performance during a 5-4 loss to the San Jose Sharks, don't be surprised if Robin Lehner is between the pipes when the Hawks host Winnipeg on Saturday.
Crawford has allowed 9 goals in his two starts, although he has faced a whopping 72 shots in those contests.
"He's had a lot of pucks around the net to deal with," Colliton said. "He's made some saves and they've (also) been in his eyes and making it difficult on him. That's what you want to do against a goaltender. Both the teams we've faced, they've done that.
"I think we've got to support him a little better."
Crawford had allowed 17 goals while going 5-2-0 in his previous seven home openers.
While with the New York Islanders last season, Lehner received 43 starts, while Thomas Greiss got 39. The two combined to win the William M. Jennings Trophy for fewest goals allowed in the regular season (196). Lehner ranked second in save percentage (.930) and third in goals-against average (2.13).
"They're both going to play," Colliton said beforehand. "Expect to see Lehner soon. We think between the two of them we're going to get an excellent level throughout the year."
Connor Murphy returned to action Thursday after missing the season opener in Prague. Fellow blue liner Calvin de Haan remains out as he nurses a groin injury.
"He skated today, so that was good," Jeremy Colliton said of de Haan. "We'll practice tomorrow (and) we'll see how he is."
The Hawks' next game is against Winnipeg on Saturday.
Patrick Kane passed Dennis Hull and moved into eighth place in team history with 905 games played. … Duncan Keith needs 2 goals for 100 in his career. … Patrick Marleau, who signed a one-year deal Wednesday, played in his 789th straight game. It is the sixth-longest streak in NHL history. Marleau scored 2 goals, tying the game at 2-2 near the end of the first period and 4-4 near the end of the second. …
San Jose started Aaron Dell in net over regular starter Martin Jones, who has a 4.56 goals-against average in three games. … Last season, Sharks D-men Brent Burns (first) and Erik Karlsson (ninth) finished in the top 10 in assists among blue liners. Burns' 83-point season was the highest by a defenseman since the 1995-96 campaign.