What if I told you the only thing the Blackhawks’ power play has been missing for the past five years was… Jay Bouwmeester?
The goaltenders on both ends of the rink were outstanding on Wednesday night. Corey Crawford was more heavily tested of the two, but Jake Allen was a worthy opponent.
The first goal of the game came with the Blackhawks on a power play. Brent Seabrook got the credit, but Bouwmeester did the heavy lifting.
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane were credited with the only assists in the game.
That was it. Seabrook’s third goal of the year held up as the game-winner because Crawford stopped all 28 shots he faced for his first shutout in almost exactly 12 full months.
The win is the first for Jeremy Colliton as an NHL head coach.
Gustav Forsling returned to the lineup and skated 15:49. He looked good, blocking two shots and picking up two hits in the game.
Chicago had an improved night at the dot. Toews won 13 of 21 faceoffs and Luke Johnson won three of four draws. Johnson was also credited with four hits in a solid outing. David Kampf won seven of 13 faceoffs as well.
Nick Schmaltz failed to put a single shot on net in 19:19, while Chris Kunitz managed one shot in the lowest ice time on the Blackhawks’ roster (10:11).
But this game was all about Crawford. He stole the show in his first nationally televised game since returning from his concussion issues and reminded the league that he’s one of the elite goaltenders in the game.