By Brad Gardner
The Chicago Blackhawks managed to keep their win streak alive against the rival Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night at the United Center, despite playing without captain Jonathan Toews. With Detroit entering play riding a six-game winning streak of their own, it was the home team that held onto a 2-1 lead to pick up their fourth consecutive win.
Corey Crawford started his fourth game in a row and allowed just one goal for the third straight game. He faced Jimmy Howard in net for the Wings, making his first start since missing time to a broken index finger. Both goalies loomed large in this one, but Crawford was able to spoil Howard’s comeback and earn his fourth win in as many starts.
Marcus Kruger put the Blackhawks down a man in just 34 seconds into the game with a tripping penalty in the offensive zone. Crawford was able to handle Detroit’s first few opportunities, including a shot from Jiri Hudler through traffic. Dave Bolland picked up the rebound but whiffed on the clear. The puck eventually found Valtteri Filppula at the right circle and he was able to wrist one past Crawford far side to put the Wings up 1-0 just 2:22 into the game.