Q rewards Emery with another start


CHICAGO -- There doesn't appear to be a goaltender controversy -- at least yet -- but Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville is rewarding Ray Emery for his recent success by giving him the start against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday.

Emery improved to 12-0-0 on the season with a shutout against the Calgary Flames in the Blackhawks' last game on Tuesday. He has a 2.09 goals-against average, which ranks sixth in the NHL, and .920 save percentage, which is tied for 10th.

Quenneville said Emery's recent play played a part in the decision to start him over Corey Crawford against the Ducks, who are trailing the Blackhawks by five points in the Western Conference.

"It certainly helped him," Quenneville said of Emery after Thursday's practice at the United Center. "I think all year long he's been consistent in the net and predictable. We're very pleased with him. He gets a chance to play against his former team."

It will be the first time Emery has started consecutive games since Crawford was injured in February and Emery started four straight games from Feb. 15-22.

In Crawford's last start, he allowed five goals and made 31 saves in a 5-4 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Monday. Quenneville believes the Kings' goals were a credit more to their play rather than anything Crawford did wrong.

Crawford started in the Blackhawks' previous two games against the Ducks this season. He made 29 saves in a 3-2 shootout loss on Feb. 12 and 22 saves in a 4-2 loss on March 20.

Emery is the first NHL goaltender to start a season with 12 consecutive wins. He was pulled after allowing three goals in the opening 10 minutes of the first period against the Edmonton Oilers on March 10, but Crawford picked up the loss.

Crawford is 13-4-3 with a 2.02 goals-against average, tied for second in the league, and .922 save percentage, which is tied for sixth.