NHL

Smith scores twice, Blackhawks beat Canadiens 4-1

MONTREAL (AP) — Corey Crawford doesn’t know why he performs nicely towards his hometown workforce.

The veteran goalie stopped 32 photographs to assist the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-1 on Wednesday evening.

Crawford, from suburban Chateauguay, Quebec, improved to 11-2-2 towards the Canadiens.

“I do not actually have a solution why it is gone so nicely right here,” he stated. “It is good to try this in entrance of family and friends.”

Crawford has struggled this season, with the most recent win enhancing his file to 8-13-2 with a 3.00 goals-against common.

“My file is horrible proper now, I’m not likely pleased with it,” he stated. “It is (robust) being means under .500. I simply need to work exhausting and battle my means again.”

Zack Smith had two targets, and Alex DeBrincat and Drake Caggiula additionally scored for the Blackhawks, who had been coming off a 3-2 additional time win towards the Senators on Tuesday. Chicago received for the seventh time in 10 video games.

“I believed we deserved that win,” Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton stated. “We performed exhausting, we had been on our toes, placing stress on them. We had a number of offensive-zone shifts. We did a good job of closing out the sport. … Good step for us to win in comparatively good management.”

Phillip Danault scored for the Canadiens, who’ve misplaced 10 of their final 11. Charlie Lindgren, nonetheless searching for his first victory of the season, completed with 24 saves.

Lindgren began the primary sport of a back-to-back for Montreal. Carey Value will get the nod Thursday at Philadelphia.

The Blackhawks scored twice in a fast-paced first interval earlier than Montreal even managed its second shot on web.

Miscommunication between Lindgren and Tomas Tatar behind the online led to Smith’s short-handed purpose at 5:42. Lindgren hesitated with the puck and Tatar knocked into him, giving Caggiula the possibility to feed Smith in entrance.

“You by no means wish to quit a purpose like that,” Lindgren stated. “It’s a purpose that’s very preventable. I take full accountability for that. I made a few fakes behind the online and nothing occurred. I received the puck poked off my stick and so they received an open web.”

Chicago’s fourth line struck once more lower than three minutes later. Defenseman Slater Koekkoek threw the puck into site visitors and Smith, unmarked to Lindgren’s proper, deflected it into the highest nook at 8:32.

Smith got here in with two targets in 40 video games all season. The previous Senators ahead doubled his tally after 4 shifts.

Lindgren saved Montreal within the sport with a desperation save on rookie Dominik Kubalik late within the first to maintain it 2-0.

Targets have been robust to come back by for the Canadiens recently however they received one 54 seconds after the restart. A no-look cross from Ilya Kovalchuk into the slot fooled Jonathan Toews and Danault scored beneath Crawford’s glove to make it 2-1.

The Canadiens have scored 16 targets of their final 9 video games.

Max Domi took a roughing penalty that proved expensive within the second interval. Chicago was main 2-1 when he hit Matthew Highmore along with his shoulder in open ice. Domi then grabbed Highmore by the collar and helmet and tackled him to the ice.

On the following energy play, after Lindgren misplaced his blocker in a goal-mouth scramble, DeBrincat scored on a one-timer from Patrick Kane to revive the Blackhawks’ two-goal lead with 8:33 left.

“Through the play, I definitely wasn’t attempting to take a penalty,” Domi stated. “I watched the replay and it’s a penalty. It’s the way it goes. It’s unlucky they scored on that. Clearly you may’t do this, particularly given the scenario we’re in. Can’t afford to try this.”

Canadiens coach Claude Julien benched Domi for the rest of the second as punishment for the penalty.

“I did what I needed to do, it’s so simple as that,” stated Julien. “If you take a silly penalty like that, there are going to be penalties. It’s not the primary time he’s taken a nasty penalty.”

Caggiula sealed the win with 8:20 remaining within the third after stripping Jordal Weal of the puck within the impartial zone and beating Lindgren glove aspect on the breakaway.

“Each level is so essential and you need to discover methods to win and you may’t essentially simply depend on one or two guys,” Caggiula stated. “Everybody has to seek out methods to contribute. The extra depth that we are able to have and the extra methods we are able to contribute from totally different gamers and contribute in several methods goes to go a good distance for our workforce.”

NOTES: Montreal’s Brendan Gallagher (concussion) missed his third consecutive sport. … Toews prolonged his level streak to 4 video games. … Crawford has received his final six video games at Bell Centre.

UP NEXT

Blackhawks: At Toronto on Saturday evening.

Canadiens: At Philadelphia on Thursday evening.

Extra AP NHL: www.apnews.com/NHL and www.twitter.com/AP-Sports activities



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