While there was enough blame to share as the Chicago Blackhawks lost the first two games of their series at the St. Louis Blues, goalie Corey Crawford took it all himself after giving up late goals to the Blues.
“Our guys need me to make a save at the end [of regulation], too. Really frustrating being up and losing the lead two games in a row in the last couple of minutes. It’s pretty much not acceptable. We’re not going to win if I’m going to play like that. Just got to be better,” he said after Game 2’s OT loss.
In Game 3, he was better: 34 shots faced, 34 saves for Crawford as the Blackhawks won, 2-0, and cut the Blues’ series lead to 2-1.
He made a few clutch saves throughout the game – earned chants of “Corey, Corey, Corey!” from the home crowd – and none was bigger than when he fought off an Alex Pietrangelo shot to his glove side in the waning seconds to preserve the lead.
"Just because we came here and got the first one at home doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy,” he said after the game.
According to Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune, Coach Joel Quenneville met with Crawford about his series thus far. And Crawford came through with the shutout.
Meanwhile, Ryan Miller’s one mistake – allowing a soft goal to Jonathan Toews in the first period – ended up as the definitive goal of the game.
A few thoughts:
* So how did the St. Louis Blues miss David Backes, out with an upper body injury after that Brent Seabrook hit? In the faceoff circle for one, as the Blackhawks dominated draws to the tune of 59 percent to 41 percent.
* Toews, meanwhile, was a stellar 79 percent in the dot, going 19 for 24.
* Alex Steen attempted to pick up the offensive slack with 12 shot attempts in 18:34.
* Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa have yet to tally a point in this postseason.