He looked a little shaky early but can you blame him?
Corey Crawford was attempting to beat the vaunted Detroit Red Wings for the first time in his career. Having been in the Chicago Blackhawks organization for six years, he knows all too well the thorn they’ve been in the Hawks side.
“I think the key was to get up and get the lead early,” Crawford said. “When you’re chasing them from behind that’s really tough.”
Crawford not only got the 4-1 win on Friday, he earned the No. 1 star of the game, stopping 29 shots. After the first period, he only had to make 15 saves.
“That was probably our best game in the last few,” Crawford said. “The guys played well and I think that was our best third period in a while, too. They didn’t get much in the third and we just shut them down.”
Role stars: Bryan Bickell and Jack Skille continued a run of strong play. Bickell scored his fifth goal in the past six games and is developing a reputation for a wicked wrist shot. He scored with it off a Fernando Pisani feed in the opening period.
“He gets the responsibility of maybe checking, and sometimes that role turns into some nice offensive chances and opportunities and he seems to have a pretty good knack right now of finding the net,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “His shot has got a little pace and is finding its way through.”
Skille had a career-high nine shots on net to go along with three hits and two takeaways.
“He was great tonight,” Quenneville said. “I thought Jack had a lot of pace to his game. I thought he had the puck a lot, took it to the net as well. He had a lot of energy and speed, which may have been lacking lately.”
No penalties:No Hawks went to the penalty box for the first time this season. The Wings were called for one minor infraction. Quenneville was thrilled not to see the Wings play with the man advantage.
“When they get on the power play, all of a sudden they get the momentum whether they score or not,” Quenneville said. “They feed off of that. I thought we had good stick positioning and we checked well.”
Soupy: Brian Campbell earned an assist on one of Tomas Kopecky’s two goals, leading a rush into the offensive zone before finding Kopecky in the slot during a delayed penalty call on the Red Wings in the second period.
“The coaches want me to do that more,” Campbell said. “I think I’ve been playing well but there is always another level. I really have to contribute that every night.”
Campbell led the Hawks in ice time for one of the few times in his career since coming to Chicago. He played 26:38, which allowed Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook to have a rare breather. Their games seemed to benefit.
Chelios Night: Chris Chelios was honored before the game for his nine years as a Hawk before being traded to the arch-rival Red Wings.
He heard a smattering of boos as he spoke on the microphone before the game. He told the crowd to “let bygones be bygones.”
“It was getting louder and louder, so that was the only thing I could do, was try to get louder than them,” Chelios said later. “I had the mic. That’s the advantage. But like I said, at the end of the day I understand the whole Chicago-Detroit rivalry, so there’s nothing you can do.”
So does he think there’s a truce?
“No. I told my two sons, Dean and Jake, we’ll be waiting outside Gate 3-1/2 if anybody wants to fight,” Chelios quipped.