Hawks goalie Corey Crawford loses 1st period, wins 1st round vs. Jonathan Quick
BY MARK POTASH firstname.lastname@example.org June 1, 2013 10:48PM
Updated: July 3, 2013 7:14AM
Goalie Corey Crawford insists the Blackhawks-Kings series is not about him against Jonathan Quick. Regardless, it was hard not to notice the saves/goals ledger after one period Saturday. Quick: 17-0; Crawford: 1-1.
While Quick was stopping everything the Hawks fired at him in the first period, Crawford struggled with a simple clearing pass with five minutes left, and it cost him. Whether it was a misplay or a fluke, it ended up a goal when Brad Richardson reached to stop Crawford’s clearing attempt, and Justin Williams knocked the puck off Dave Bolland’s stick and into the net to give the Kings a 1-0 lead with 5:47 left in the period.
But with a big hand from the Hawks’ defense, Crawford recovered to stop 20 shots after that mishap in the Hawks’ 2-1 victory in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals at the United Center.
‘‘You can’t let that affect you, then maybe they score another one right after it,’’ Crawford said. ‘‘So I didn’t let that bother me. I didn’t think anyone here was too worried about it. Bad bounce. So what. Keep playing hard.’’
Crawford said he might have to look at the replay to be sure, but he thought he had made the right play.
‘‘I thought I made a pretty good backhand — pretty high,’’ he said. ‘‘[Richardson] made a good play. It wasn’t in danger. Our guy [Bolland] had the puck on his stick, and it was just an unfortunate bounce.’’
Crawford ended up stopping 21 of 22 shots — the fewest shots he has faced in the playoffs. He stopped 20 of 21 shots in a 4-1 victory in Game 1 against the Red Wings.
The goal notwithstanding, it was a relatively easy game for Crawford. He braced for a flurry at the end, but the Kings never even got a chance to pull Quick for an extra attacker. Crawford did not have to make a save in the last 5:18.
‘‘I don’t think Crawford had to work nearly as hard as we wanted him to,’’ Kings center Jarret Stoll said. ‘‘We didn’t have that consistent push we wanted for a long period of time.’’