We hadn’t seen the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning play since the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup in June. That is, until last night. In last night’s rematch against the Lightning the Blackhawks proved why they are the 2015 Stanley Cup Champions. While the game was fairly uneventful through 60 minutes of regulation, the 3-on-3 overtime proved to be thrilling.
Crawford Makes History with a Shutout and Overtime Win
With Duncan Keith out for 4-6 weeks after surgery we were left wondering who would step up in his place. After all, Keith is a beast who often plays more minutes than anyone on the team. For the second consecutive game, the Blackhawks once again shut down the Lightning, this time with a shutout overtime 1-0 win.
Corey Crawford picked up his 13th NHL career shutout last night and his 150th win as a Blackhawk on Thursday. That makes him the fourth goaltender ever to win 150 games in a Chicago Blackhawks uniform. Crawford helped achieve something that has not been done in 55 years—he shutout the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup clinching win last June and repeated that same feat in the Blackhawks’ first meting against the Lightning since winning it all.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Blackhawks are only the third team in NHL history to clinch a Stanley Cup with a shutout win and then blank the same team the first time they played them following the last season. Wow. Congratulations to Crawford and the Blackhawks on that amazing feat! The last team to do this was the Montreal Canadiens in 1960. It is also the Blackhawks second time accomplishing this. They shutout the Detroit Red Wings in Game 4 of the 1934 Stanley Cup Final and then beat them 4-0 in the first meeting during the 1934-1935 season.
Captain Clutch is at It Again
It was only a few days ago that Jonathan Toews was trying to not think too much into not having a goal yet this season. As Captain Serious you know that not scoring any goals always haunts him because he always strives to be the best he can be. But, as we all know, Toews always shows up when we need him the most and that was the case last night—he finally got his first goal of the season during overtime. Even better was the fact that his goal came only 17 seconds into OT for the game winning goal when he got his own rebound to secure Crawford’s first shutout of the season. In response to his game-winning goal Toews said, “I was just hoping something would go in. I think there was going to be a bounce like that at some point.
Svedberg Stands Tall
Both figuratively and physically, Viktor Svedberg stood tall last night. At 6’8” Svedberg definitely stands out among the rest, but last night he really stood strong in defense. Niklas Hjalmarsson has always been the one to have all the big blocks, but fellow Swedish defenseman, Viktor Svedberg, was there to help. Svedberg recorded a game-high five blocked shots for the Blackhawks last night. I’ve said it from the beginning and I will say it again, Svedberg is going to be a force to recon with and I am stoked to see him playing so well with the Blackhawks.
With the Blackhawks’ patience they have been very good about taking what teams give them and not forcing any issues. Mistakes happen and losses happen, but what the Blackhawks do that makes them so powerful is they keep on moving forward without letting the last game keep them down. After last night’s shutout win against the Lightning in their rematch since winning the Stanley Cup, the Blackhawks continue with their much needed early season victories.
The Blackhawks play again tomorrow Monday, October 26th against the Anaheim Ducks. See you there!