Crawford to start vs. Red Wings

DETROIT -- Corey Crawford will start in goal for the Chicago Blackhawks in Sunday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings.

Crawford left after the first period of Thursday’s game against the St. Louis Blues with what coach Joel Quenneville called an upper-body injury.

Quenneville said two hours before his team faced off against the Red Wings that Crawford has no residual effects from the injury.

Veteran backup Ray Emery stepped in and played well in the Blackhawks’ 3-0 win on Thursday and made 19 saves in the team’s 4-3 overtime win over Columbus.

Quenneville said he hasn’t been surprised with the team’s consistency in net, even with the back-and-forth play of Crawford and Emery.

“The consistency of our goaltending has been a key factor to our start of the season,” Quenneville said. “No matter who’s in net the guys have been playing very well in front of him and they give us confidence as well.

“Both guys want to play and both guys have proven in this league that they can be a top goalie. I think it seems like no matter what player you look at in our lineup everyone is contributing.”

It’s undoubtedly been a big reason the Blackhawks (18-0-3) are off to a record-breaking start this season as the team has the best goal-against average in the NHL at 1.8 goals per game.

  • Quenneville said center Dave Bolland is getting close to returning to the lineup and is likely to play when Chicago returns home on Tuesday to face the Minnesota Wild. Bolland has been out since Feb. 22 with an upper-body injury.

  • Defenseman Steve Montador hasn’t played a game since March 27, 2012. Quenneville said the 33-year-old is getting closer, but the timetable for his return is still unknown.