The Chicago Blackhawks suffer their first shutout of the season, falling 2-0 against the Montreal Canadiens. The whitewash comes after Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford posted back to back shutouts against the Philadelphia Flyers and the Minnesota Wild.
Crawford, who went eight periods and 173 minutes and 9 seconds without letting in a goal, finally relented to Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin early in the third. Six minutes later, Habs defenseman Joe Morrow capitalized on a turnover by Blackhawks d-man Connor Murphy, burying a slap shot past Crawford while using Andrew Shaw as a screen.
The Blackhawks’ record falls to 7-6-2.
The Blackhawks have now gone 150 minutes and 42 seconds without an even strength goal. The last time 5 on 5 goal that they scored was 9:18 into the second period against the Flyers. Discounting empty net goals, the Blackhawks have only scored three goals in their last three games. In the past, the Hawks have erred on the side of calm reassurance when they enter these goal droughts. Tonight, when asked if he’s worried about the lack of goal scoring, head coach Joel Quenneville said that he’s “starting to think about it.”
He can’t do it alone
The Blackhawks squandered yet another masterful performance by Corey Crawford. He kept his team in it for two periods tonight, but the his team did not give him the goal support he needed.
“He’s been playing great,” Ryan Hartman said. “We just need to generate some offense for him.”
What’s particularly baffling is the fact that the Hawks were not chasing the puck. In fact, this was the fifth straight game where the Hawks generated more than 35 shots on goal against opposing netminders, but the shots they were generating were coming from the perimeter, and there was little to no net front presence, which made the few rebounds that Habs goalie Charlie Lindgren gave up moot.
The Hawks are off until Thursday night, when they finish the season series against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Gustav Forsling is still out with an upper body injury. Marian Hossa, Michal Roszival and Jordin Tootoo remain on LTIR.
My three stars
3. Joe Morrow 1G
2. Jonathan Drouin 1G
1. Charlie Lindgren 38 save shutout