Wild winger Thomas Vanek moves in on Hawks goalie Corey Crawford in Game Two of Chicago's second-round series against Minnesota Sunday. (Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Blackhawks have turned to veteran started Corey Crawford and feel-good-story Scott Darling in net this post-season, but in Game 2 of Chicago's second-round series against Minnesota Sunday, Crawford strengthened his hold on the job, making big stops – like this one on Wild star Zach Parise.
The Blackhawks have alternated between veteran starting goalie Corey Crawford and feel-good-story Scott Darling so far in this year's playoffs, but Sunday in Game 2 of Chicago's second-round series against Minnesota, Crawford continued solidifying his hold on the No. 1 job by robbing Wild star winger Zach Parise of what looked to be a sure goal.
The Hawks were leading Minnesota 1-0 in the second period on a shorthanded goal from captain Jonathan Toews, but Parise was on the verge of tying Game 2 late in the middle frame when teammate Matt Dumba fired a slap shot from the point at Crawford and Parise corralled the rebound directly in front of him. Only Crawford's right leg pad stood in his way, and fortunately for the Hawks, it stayed there and prevented Parise from scoring his fifth goal in eight post-season games this year:
The 30-year-old Crawford stopped all 14 Minnesota shots he faced through the first 40 minutes of Game 2, and if he remains that sharp between Chicago's pipes, the Hawks can beat any team still playing for an NHL championship.