Crawford Strong but Ducks a Little Better

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -It wasn’t as if the Chicago Blackhawks played poorly against Anaheim and maybe it was a night no team deserved to lose. The Ducks have to be given high marks for surviving two 4-on-3 power plays in overtime and keeping the Hawks below their top speed. When the United Center crowd departed they weren’t overjoyed but probably shouldn’t feel too bad as the Ducks defeated the Blackhawks 3-2 in a shootout.Besides capturing at least one point in the first game back after a long road trip, the best thing about Tuesday night was Corey Crawford’s performance. If not for two fluke goals, one of which went off of Brent Seabrook’s stick, Crawford could have recorded his second shutout in as many games. Crawford’s glove hand hasn’t been better as he made a few highlight reel saves. The rest of the club may have been just a little off but Crawford’s level of play was top notch.

The Blackhawks needed a spark midway through the second period. The capacity crowd seemed a little bored and the Ducks had the Hawks offense bottled up. Bryan Bickell did what many fans had wished he was more successful at in the past. Bickell laid a huge, clean check on Ryan Getzlaf and the crowd erupted. Getzlaf flew to the ice and teammate Brad Staubitz came to the aid of his captain. Bickell and Staubitz tangled but when the dust settled the Ducks were shorthanded due to an instigator penalty.

Bickell’s effort woke up the crowd as well as his teammates as Brandon Saad scored less than a minute later. The momentum turned as the Hawks outshot Anaheim 6-2 over the next few minutes. Shortly thereafter the penalty killing unit helped keep the lead surviving a Ducks 5-on-3 power play. Bickell did what was needed and it is good to see him finally embracing his role.

Another good sign is the Blackhawks penalty killing unit is still in top form. The trio of Seabrook, Niklas Hjalamarsson and Marcus Kruger had a fine game and stifled the Ducks attack while they had a two-man advantage. Kruger in particular had a strong effort and has been a big part of the penalty killing units success for the entire season.

………….More about goal cams and the United Center ice………
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