Crawford has been a goaltending beacon

May, 8, 2013
5/08/13
1:02
AM CT
Burnside By Scott Burnside
ESPNChicago.com
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St. PAUL, Minn. -- In a playoff year that has been dominated by goaltending drama, Chicago Blackhawks netminder Corey Crawford is the King of Calm.

On Tuesday night alone the Montreal Canadiens lost starting goaltender Carey Price to injury and then lost Game 4 of that series to Ottawa, blowing a 2-0 lead along the way.

Pittsburgh Penguins netminder Marc-Andre Fleury melted down against the New York Islanders as the home team tied its series against the heavily favored Penguins with a 6-4 win.

Cory Schneider, shelled in Game 3 after replacing Roberto Luongo in the Vancouver goal, was between the pipes again Tuesday as the Northwest Division champion Vancouver Canucks were swept by the sixth-seeded San Jose Sharks.

And that’s to say nothing of the ongoing drama surrounding the Blackhawks’ first-round opponents the Minnesota Wild, who lost inspirational netminder Josh Harding; Harding suffered some sort of lower body injury and left after the first period in Tuesday.

Harding’s replacement, Darcy Kuemper, promptly allowed the first shot he faced to float by him as Chicago went on to win 3-0.

Crawford?

Ho hum. No muss, no fuss, just another day at the office as he stopped all 25 shots he faced and the Blackhawks took a 3-1 series lead against the Wild, with a chance to close them out on home ice Thursday. He even managed to drum up some empathy for Kuemper’s situation.

“I think their young guy, obviously letting in the first shot, it’s pretty nerve-wracking. I’ve been in that situation before. It’s obviously pretty nervous time,” Crawford said.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Patrick Sharp
PTS GOALS AST +/-
78 34 44 13
OTHER LEADERS
GoalsP. Sharp 34
AssistsD. Keith 55
+/-M. Hossa 28
GAAC. Crawford 2.26