The naysayers of Chicago netminder Corey Crawford have made a point of picking out his glove hand as his greatest weakness over the past several seasons, but it was that very same glove that was a game-saver for the Blackhawks Wednesday night.
After the Oilers had clawed back twice in the third period and knotted the game at three, Chicago and Edmonton headed to overtime. And it was in the extra frame that Crawford came up huge and almost singlehandedly helped the Blackhawks extend their winning streak to three games.
Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl was streaking down the left wing when he fired a perfect pass to Taylor Hall who had nearly the whole net to shoot at. Hall loaded up, fired and watched as Crawford flashed the leather to take away what very well should have been the overtime winner:
Crawford was big for the Blackhawks all evening and was a big reason Chicago had the chance to win the contest in both regulation and overtime. In the first frame, he stopped all 11 shots that came his way and turned aside 14 of 16 in the third period. The stretching glove stop was the only save Crawford was forced to make in overtime, but his timing couldn’t have been better.
Following the ensuing faceoff, the game would last little more than 30 seconds. A scrambled play along the boards led to Artemi Panarin shuffling the puck down to Brent Seabrook, who rifled a stretch pass onto the stick of Marian Hossa. In alone on Oilers netminder Anders Nilsson, Hossa blew a shot by Nilsson for the game-winning goal and overtime victory.