Goalie Corey Crawford takes responsibility for Hawks’ 2-0 deficit
BY MARK LAZERUS Staff Reporter April 19, 2014 11:30PM
ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 19: Corey Crawford #50 of the Chicago Blackhawks reacts after allowing a goal against the St. Louis Blues in Game Two of the First Round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Scottrade Center on April 19, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Updated: May 21, 2014 9:48AM
ST. LOUIS — There were many reasons the Blackhawks left St. Louis down 2-0 in their first-round series against the Blues, but goalie Corey Crawford blamed himself for giving up goals late in the third period and overtime of both games.
In Game 2 on Saturday, Vladimir Tarasenko beat Crawford with 6.4 seconds left in regulation. Then Barret Jackman’s shot somehow squeezed between Crawford’s pads and trickled in for the game-winner at 5:50 of overtime.
‘‘My pads were together, but there’s a little space there; I obviously have to find a way to make that save,’’ Crawford said of the goal by Jackman. ‘‘Our guys need me to make a save at the end [of regulation], too. Really frustrating being up and losing the lead two games in a row in the last couple of minutes. It’s pretty much not acceptable. We’re not going to win if I’m going to play like that. Just got to be better.’’
As he was in Game 1, Crawford was a big reason the Hawks had a chance to win the game —
especially early on, when his teammates weren’t giving him much help. The Hawks looked lost and a step slow, particularly on the power play. At one point, Duncan Keith and Patrick Sharp crashed into each other at the blue line, leading to a short-handed breakaway by Steve Ott that Crawford stopped.
Crawford also played a big role in the Hawks’ penalty kill, which has killed 12 of 13 power plays through two games — the exception being Tarasenko’s equalizer, which came with Ryan Miller pulled for an extra attacker.
‘‘We’re just trying to block shots, get in the puck lanes, keep it out, get clears when we have to,’’ Keith said. ‘‘They’ve got a good power play. They’ve got some good players, they move it around and they got some chances. Crow was there for the save.’’
On Kevin Shattenkirk’s goal with two seconds left in the first period that put the Blues ahead 2-0, Crawford had made a terrific stop on Jaden Schwartz right
before. But the Hawks failed to clear the puck, allowing Tarasenko to swing it out to Shattenkirk.
‘‘I just remember seeing Crawford’s number and his name, and he was facing the corner,’’ Shattenkirk said. ‘‘He was way out of position, and I knew that I just had to get the puck to the net. Luckily, it beat the buzzer.’’
Crawford said he needs to put the losses in the past and focus on Game 3 on Monday at the United Center.
‘‘Get some rest and try to forget about that,’’ he said. ‘‘Try not to be frustrated about it. That first shift the next game is the most important thing right now.’’