The Chicago Blackhawks needed just 18 saves from Corey Crawford to secure a 4-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday. But Game 2 of the teams’ second-round playoff series was far from uneventful for the Stanley Cup-winning goaltender.
Less than a minute after allowing a goal to Minnesota’s Cody McCormick that cut the Blackhawks 2-1 lead in half early in the third period, Crawford again was tested by Wild forward Zach Parise, who fired a clear shot on net from between the circles. The puck deflected off Crawford and appeared to be headed for the open goal, but the Hawks netminder swung his stick above his head to deny Parise, smacking the airborne puck onto the top of the net.
“I just tried to whack it behind the net,” Crawford said after the game, via the Chicago Sun-Times. “I just caught enough of it. I almost missed it, where it might have gone in. Got just enough to land on top.”
Crawford was hardly tested the rest of the way, as the Wild recorded just four shots on net over the game’s final 20 minutes. Blackhawks winger Bryan Bickell gave Chicago some insurance by scoring with 2:45 to play in the third, and Brandon Saad sealed the win with an empty-netter — his second goal of the game — a minute later.
The Blackhawks now head to Minnesota as owners of a 2-0 series lead. Game 3 at Xcel Energy Center is set for Tuesday night.