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Blackhawks goalie Ray Emery gets nod vs. Oilers, but he doesn’t last long

Chicago Blackhawks goalie Ray Emery (30) pats goalie Corey Crawford rear as Crawford prepares replace Emery after Emery gave up

Chicago Blackhawks goalie Ray Emery (30) pats goalie Corey Crawford on the rear as Crawford prepares to replace Emery after Emery gave up three goals during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Edmonton Oilers Sunday, March 10, 2013 in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

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Joel Quenneville was asked before the game Sunday why he was starting Ray Emery over Corey Crawford against the Edmonton Oilers.

“Both goalies have been very good, so I think there’s a good argument for either guy,” Quenneville said. “Ray played well against these guys the other day [a 3-2 overtime victory Feb. 25]. The consistency of our goaltending has been very important to where we’re at today. [Crawford] is going to get back in there soon. We won’t see him sitting too long.”

No kidding.

A little more than nine minutes into the first period Sunday, Emery was skating for the bench — having allowed three goals on nine shots — and Crawford was putting on his mask and taking the ice. Three minutes later, Crawford gave up a power-play goal to Sam Gagner, the noted Hawks killer’s second goal of the period.

Quenneville has had a tough decision on who to start each night because both goaltenders had been playing well. Crawford entered the game 11-1-3 with a 1.81 GAA and a .930 save percentage. Emery entered the game with an NHL-record mark of 10-0-0 (not counting his two-period “save” in a combined shutout with Crawford in St. Louis) with a 2.05 GAA and .924 save percentage.

“Both guys got good consideration to play tonight,” Quenneville said. “That’s all part of it. I thought Ray came in and did a nice job later in that [Colorado] game. I’m very comfortable no matter who’s in the net.”

Now, all of a sudden, both goalies are coming off poor efforts. Both have three days off to regroup before the game Thursday at Columbus.

After the streak-busting 6-2 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Friday, Crawford — who was pulled after yielding four second-period goals — talked about putting the loss behind him.

“It’s over,” he said. “Just move on to the next game.”

The loss hardly was all Crawford’s fault — from defense to faceoffs to goaltending, everyone can take some of the blame — but Crawford, who briefly led the league in goals-against average, pointed the finger at himself.

“Giving up five goals, six goals, it’s definitely hard to win when you give up that much,” he said. “I just didn’t have it. I didn’t give our guys a chance. I’ve got to be better than that.”

He and Emery both.



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