Andrew Shaw got on the board and Corey Crawford continued his strong start to the season as the Blackhawks started their long road trip in Minnesota on Wednesday night.
Trailing 1-0, Bryan Bickell attacked the net and Shaw deposited a rebound to get the Blackhawks on the scoreboard. Jonathan Toews quickly followed to put Chicago on top. The Toews goal chased Minnesota starting goaltender Josh Harding, who was shown expressing his frustration in the tunnel at the expense of his stick after being pulled from the game.
The Hawks killed a 5-on-3 that lasted almost 90 seconds late in the first, which included the incredible Crawford save seen above. For his night’s work, Crawford stopped 23 of 25 shots in 65 minutes, including a number of key saves in the third period to keep the game tied.
Shaw had his best game of the young season, winning 6 of 11 faceoffs. He was also credited with a hit and a takeaway and had a lot of good energy throughout the game.
Brandon Saad continued to play well, creating a lot of traffic around the Minnesota net. His point total hasn’t been indicative of the quality of play he’s provided this season, and his comfort level has increased with each game while skating next to Toews and Marian Hossa.
Chicago’s penalty kill came up huge again late when Patrick Sharp was sent to the box for hooking at 17:55 in the final frame. All four Wild power plays were handled in regulation, with the final kill sending the game into overtime.
On the blue line, coach Joel Quenneville spread out the ice time among his top four defensemen once again; Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Johnny Oduya were all between 21 and just over 28 minutes, including the overtime.
Unfortunately, Sharp hit the crossbar with the Hawks’ third and final shootout attempt and Chicago suffered their first loss of the season.
Toews won 13 of 23 faceoffs to lead the Hawks at the dot, while Bickell, Hossa and Patrick Kane were credited with assists in the game.