suntimes
LABORIOUS 
Weather Updates

Blackhawks’ Crawford pulled from net in 5-1 drubbing by Avalanche

Article Extras
Story Image

Updated: November 20, 2013 12:02AM



DENVER — The Blackhawks opened their big trip with a big stumble.

The Colorado Avalanche chased Corey Crawford from the net in the first period and thumped the Hawks 5-1 on Tuesday at the Pepsi Center. It was the first time all season the Hawks failed to score at least two goals, and they opened their seven-city, 13-day road trip in ominous fashion.

It certainly wasn’t the start coach Joel Quenneville was looking for.

‘‘Not the game or the trip,’’ he said. ‘‘Just the opposite.’’

Compounding matters for the Hawks, who already were without winger Marian Hossa (lower-body injury), they lost winger Bryan Bickell to an apparent lower leg injury in the disastrous first period. Quenneville was unsure but cast doubt on Bickell’s status for the game Thursday against the Winnipeg Jets. The Hawks have no spare forwards — defenseman Sheldon Brookbank played wing again with Hossa out — and Quenneville said Hossa’s status, as well as salary-cap concerns, would determine if they recall a forward from Rockford.

‘‘We definitely have business decisions along with . . . hockey decisions and getting the right fit,’’ he said.

Crawford gave up three goals on seven shots but didn’t get much help from his defense. Paul Stastny got the Avalanche on the board at 6:37 of the first when Brent Seabrook’s attempt to wheel the puck behind his own net took a hard kick off the back boards and skittered through the crease and right to Stastny in the slot.

‘‘It was sort of a weird play, and it took a hell of a bounce,’’ Seabrook said.

About 11 minutes in, the Hawks lost Bickell when he slid backward into the net, his left ankle appearing to catch underneath him.

Things went from bad to worse shortly after that, with the Avalanche scoring twice in 56 seconds — on a deflection by Gabriel Landeskog in traffic and on a shot by John Mitchell off a pass from Maxime Talbot from behind the net. That was all for Crawford.

‘‘That was the move to make,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘It wasn’t the goalie, [but] we’ve got to do something there.’’

That brought in Antti Raanta, who made his NHL debut in difficult circumstances. He settled things down, for the most part, but he allowed two goals on 16 shots — one by P.A. Parenteau late in a second period the Hawks largely dominated and another on a rebound by Cody McLeod early in the third.

All Brandon Saad’s goal midway through the third period did was spoil the shutout bid by Semyon Varlamov (36 saves).

The Hawks were confident they could bounce back from the loss — after all, they lost 7-2 to middling Nashville on Saturday, then beat contender San Jose 5-1 the next night. But it’s not a trend they want to continue as they head to Winnipeg for the second stop of the circus trip.

‘‘Two of our last three, we got blown out,’’ Seabrook said. ‘‘So we’ve got to be better from the start.’’

Email: mlazerus@suntimes.com

Twitter: @marklazerus



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.