Hawks Stay Hot, Crawford Post a Zero in Nashville

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -A great road trip ends with the first Chicago Blackhawk shutout in 102 games. Corey Crawford last posted a zero on March 23, 2011 but on Sunday night in Nashville he led the Blackhawks to a 3-0 victory. The score was flattering to the Predators as they chased the puck for much of the night and couldn’t generate any offense. Nashville recorded a mere 17 shots, with only seven coming in the opening 40 minutes.Crawford made a few nice saves during the third period to preserve his shutout but in this contest the Preds were no match. Crawford was strong but this was another complete team effort. The Hawks are playing solid fundamental hockey and the points continue to accumulate. The best players are doing their part but they don’t have to shoulder the whole load. In the defensive zone the Hawks have been very efficient. In many ways the offense starts with the Blackhawk defensemen as their outlet passes trigger the transition game.

The Hawks ended up 4-0-2 on the road trip and will finally return to home ice to face the Anaheim Ducks. Usually the last game of a long road swing and the first game coming back home are difficult challenges. The first half of the test was not an issue. No doubt an eager United Center crowd will be on hand to welcome back the troops and to help urge them past Anaheim.

The Blackhawks have not suffered a regulation loss in their first 12 games. Interestingly, Tuesday’s opponent the Ducks set the NHL record by not losing in regulation during the opening 16 games of the 2006 campaign. Not to count chickens before they hatch, as 12 games is not 16, but Anaheim won the Stanley Cup that season.

Patrick Kane never seems to tire and appears to be in the finest physical condition of his career. Kane puts forth a lot of effort on every shift including back checking. Lugging the puck, creating space and making great plays takes an enormous amount of energy but Kane never seems to tire. To end the road trip, Kane recorded three shots and one goal during his 19:21 performance. The best news for Blackhawk loyalists is at 24 years of age, Kane probably hasn’t entered the prime of his career yet.
Read more: http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/21100238/chicago-blackhawks-stay-hot-corey-crawford-pitches-a-shutout-in-nashville#1#ixzz2Kc36oQir

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