Crawford provided Hawks a shot in Game 3

Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford makes a save on Wild forward Zach Parise in the second period of Game 3. Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sports

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The season began with many questioning whether the Chicago Blackhawks could succeed in the Stanley Cup playoffs with Corey Crawford as their starting goaltender.

Three games into the Blackhawks’ first-round series with the Minnesota Wild, Crawford has so far resoundingly answered his doubters with three quality performances.

Although the Blackhawks lost 3-2 in overtime in Game 3 on Sunday, Crawford’s teammates let it be known the only reason they felt they even had a chance to win was because of his play. Crawford finished with 34 saves, which included 28 in the game’s first two periods.

“He was amazing,” Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. “There’s not a chance we would have stuck around that game without his effort. He was great all night. He was as good as he’s been all year. All of us in this room have to look at that and understand that we can take it to the next level as he did today. We have to better in front of him.”

Most of Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville’s answers were short after the loss, but he did include some praise for Crawford’s performance.

“He played well,” Quenneville said. “He made some key saves. Some timely saves as well.”

As well as Crawford played, the result still wasn’t easy for him to swallow. He took Sunday’s loss as hard as anyone. All he could do was start preparing for Game 4.

“You just want to give your team a chance to win,” Crawford said. “Obviously it would have been nice to win it in overtime. What’s done is done. Just got to look forward to the next one.”