Toews, Blackhawks beat slumping Ducks 1-0 in overtime
CHICAGO (AP) All that open ice in the NHL’s new 3-on-3 overtime suits Jonathan Toews and the Chicago Blackhawks quite nicely.
Toews scored 51 seconds into the extra period, Corey Crawford made 39 saves and the Blackhawks beat the Anaheim Ducks 1-0 on Monday night in a rematch of last season’s Western Conference finals.
Crawford earned his second straight shutout and No. 14 for his career as the Blackhawks closed out a perfect 4-0 homestand. They also beat Tampa Bay 1-0 on Saturday night on Toews’ first goal of the season 17 seconds into overtime.
”It can go either way,” Toews said. ”Huge stops by our goaltender, we get an opening, there’s one defensive mistake – and they’re easy to make 3 on 3.”
Crawford denied Ryan Getzlaf before Toews got a pass from Patrick Kane and beat Frederik Andersen over his left shoulder, making Chicago a perfect 3 for 3 in overtime this season. Kane had the game-winning goal in a 3-2 overtime win at the New York Islanders on Oct. 9.
Chicago became the first team to win consecutive games by a 1-0 score in overtime with the same goal scorer and goaltender. The Blackhawks have allowed two goals in three games since Duncan Keith had right knee surgery last Tuesday, sidelining the All-Star defenseman for four to six weeks.
”We can always say we’re going to miss him because that’s for sure,” coach Joel Quenneville said. ”But we’re finding ways to play well defensively. Tonight, we weren’t as sharp, but we’re still doing some good things without the puck.”
The Ducks were shut out for the second straight game and became the first NHL team since the New York Americans in 1930-31 to be shut out five times in their first eight games of the season. Andersen finished with 23 stops.
”It’s the best game we’ve played all year,” coach Bruce Boudreau said.
The Blackhawks appeared to have the go-ahead score with 5:35 left in the third, but Artemi Panarin’s shot was waived off because Andersen knocked the net off its moorings before the puck crossed the goal line. Quenneville threw his arms up in protest and the crowd of 21,529 booed lustily, but the call stood after a replay review.
”That’s something every goalie does now. They use the posts to give them balance,” Andersen said. ”The rubber thing inside the post just kind of gave away.”
Anaheim had a 3-2 lead against Chicago in the conference finals in May, and then dropped the last two games, including a painful 5-3 loss in Game 7 at home. The Blackhawks went on to their third Stanley Cup title in six seasons, while the Ducks faced questions about their inability to get to the next level with their talented roster.
The hangover seemed to carry over into this season, with Anaheim bringing the NHL’s worst offense to the rematch with Chicago. The Ducks had just six goals in their first seven games, and four of those came in their only win at home against Minnesota on Oct. 18.
It was more of the same against the Blackhawks, at least early on. Corey Perry shot it off the inside of the left post early in the second. He also was stuffed by Crawford at the right post on a prime opportunity about a minute into the third.
Chicago had similar problems generating quality offensive chances on the other side.
Andersen denied Toews at the end of the first period, and Ryan Garbutt whiffed on a potential rebound. Andersen also stopped Kane and then Andrew Shaw during one sequence while the Blackhawks had a power-play opportunity in the second.
NOTES: Ducks D Kevin Bieksa left late in the third with a cut on his face. … Ducks F Andrew Cogliano played in his 630th consecutive game, matching Andy Hebenton (1955-64) for the second-longest streak to begin an NHL career. Doug Jarvis is on top of the list with an NHL-best streak of 964 games from 1975 to 1987, encompassing his entire career. … It was Chicago’s first game of the season against the Western Conference. … The U.S. women’s national hockey team attended the game and was recognized on the videoboard during the second period. The Americans are practicing in the Chicago area this week ahead of next month’s Four Nations Cup in Sweden.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap