CHICAGO -- Some goals are so bad there are no excuses to be made, no mitigating circumstances to plead. That was the case for Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford on Mikkel Boedker's overtime game-winner on Tuesday, giving the Phoenix Coyotes' a 3-2 overtime win and 2-1 series edge.
Game 4 is Thursday night at the United Center.
"Forgotten about last game, have to," Crawford said Thursday morning. "We have a huge game to play tonight and I need to be prepared for that."
Boedker shot the puck from a bad angle to the right of Crawford and somehow it squeezed past him. It wasn't unlike Patrick Kane's game winning tally in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals. If you recall, Philadelphia goaltender Michael Leighton took a lot of heat after giving that one up. Like Leighton, Crawford was down on himself after Game 3. But that was 48 hours ago.
"We're just going in here looking to play a solid game," Crawford said in turning the page to Game 4. "We were really good in the last overtime, so have to carry it over from there."
Only 17 times out of 85 games have the Hawks given up fewer than two goals, and they have never had a shutout.
As for the stress of three straight postseason overtime games, and five in a row going back to last year's playoffs, Crawford isn't worried about it. The Hawks are 2-3 in those games.
"I don't really think about it," he said. "Just so focused and zoned in, don't really have a chance to notice."
More than one Hawk player said they'd like not to focus on overtime -- by winning in regulation.
Most game day mornings the Hawks will run drills with their four lines, but Joel Quenneville chose not to on Thursday. He's keeping his combinations to himself for now. Reading between the lines here is one scenario for how they might start the game:
"There's no change," Quenneville said. "I spoke to him yesterday. He's probably felt the same way the last few days."
Martin Hanzal has been ruled out for Phoenix with a leg injury.
"One thing when you're playing Phoenix you have to have patience in your team game. You have to make sure you're checking first as opposed to getting in a rush game with their active defensemen."—Quenneville.