Corey Crawford is having a spectacular season for the Blackhawks. Some will attribute Chicago’s success to their offensive talent or the skilled defensemen manning the blueline, Crawford has been one of the main catalysts for the Blackhawks’ winning ways.
But even with how good Crawford has been, no one could have expected him to make the stop he made Thursday night on Tampa Bay Lightning winger J.T. Brown.
Midway through the first period, the Lightning worked the puck around the Blackhawks’ zone before it ended up on the tape of Ryan Callahan, who was to Crawford’s left. Callahan made a quick move before flipping a backhand on net and Crawford made a slick pad save on the initial effort, but it’s hit second save — a sprawling, how-did-he-stop-that effort on Brown — that had the Amalie Arena crowd buzzing:
How close was the puck to crossing the line? Close enough that the NHL released a situation room video of the play, showing Crawford made the stop with his arm while he was laying on his side in the crease. The overhead view showed clearly the save came before the puck crossed the goal line.
Eventually, the Lightning cracked Crawford for a second goal late in the second period on the power play, but that was all that the Blackhawks netminder would concede. Chicago’s offense sputtered, though, and mustered only 18 shots on goal in a 2-1 defeat.
How good was Crawford Thursday, though? His miraculous save included, he turned aside 31 of 33 shots and earned third star honors in the loss. He now sits third in the league with a .931 SP.