Corey Crawford is going to want this one back. Midway through the first period, Nashville Predators winger Viktor Stalberg got an absolute gift when Crawford lost the puck behind the net allowing Stalberg to tuck the puck into a wide open net. To begin the second period, Crawford was on the bench and Scott Darling was in the Blackhawks net.
Heading into the post-season, the Chicago Blackhawks were struggling, but goaltender Corey Crawford was playing some of the best hockey of his career. Crawford is going to want to forget the first period of the opening game between his Blackhawks and the Nashville Predators, however.
With Nashville taking the play to Chicago early in the first and jumping out to a 1-0 lead thanks to a Colin Wilson goal, the Predators added to their lead thanks to a massive misplay by Crawford. As the puck came around the boards into the Blackhawks’ zone, Crawford went out to play the puck but, due to the trapezoid that limits goaltenders ability to get involved in the play, he had to wait for the puck to arrive.
When the puck met Crawford, he had it poked from his stick by Nashville winger Calle Jarnkrok. Predators’ winger Viktor Stalberg was waiting on the other side of the net, scooped up the puck and tucked it into the wide-open net. Check it out below:
It wasn’t the last goal of the frame for the Predators, either. Before the first frame was up, Nashville added a third tally on the power play and went to the dressing room with a 3-0 lead.
Heading into the post-season, Nashville had dropped six straight games — four in regulation and two in extra time. In only two of those games did Nashville manage to pot three goals, so it looks like any offensive woes from the regular season haven’t carried over into the playoffs.
When leading after the first period, Nashville’s had the 17th best winning percentage in the league (.741).