Corey Crawford is taking a couple days off from skating and while that was part of the plan, it did highlight that he shouldn’t be regarded as being close to returning. It’s looking more and more like Chicago’s season might be unsalvageable by the time he does come back.
The Blackhawks suffered a 4-2 loss to Dallas on Thursday. It was their fourth consecutive defeat and reducing them to 7-9-3 since Crawford got hurt. Chicago was having issues even before Crawford’s injury and at this point its 24-22-8 this season, which puts the Hawks eight points behind in the playoff race.
Sports Club Stats gives them a mere 4.5% chance of making the playoffs at this point and the goaltending issue is at least partially responsible. While Crawford was having a great campaign with a 2.27 GAA and .929 save percentage in 28 contests, Anton Forsberg has a 2.95 GAA and .910 save percentage while Jeff Glass has a 3.12 GAA and .908 save percentage. Former Blackhawks teams might have been able to overcome this level of adversity, but this year’s version doesn’t seem quite as deep or in possession of as many weapons as the squads of old.
All hope isn’t lost for the future. Chicago has shown off some promising youngsters this season in Nick Schmaltz, Alex DeBrincat, Ryan Hartman, and Vinnie Hinostroza, but Chicago’s run of consecutive playoff berths will likely end at nine.
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BUFFALO 4 NY ISLANDERS 3
John Tavares found the back of the net for the Islanders. He’s up to 28 goals and 60 points in 55 games this season.
Sam Reinhart scored the game-winning goal and registered two assists. He has 11 goals and 26 points in 54 contests.
Jack Eichel had a goal and an assist for Buffalo. That gives him 22 goals and 53 points in 54 games.
Robin Lehner surrendered three goals on 29 shots last night. That was good enough to end his personal losing streak at three games.
Jaroslav Halak kicked out 18 of 22 Sabres shots. He’s surrendered at least three goals in each of his last four starts.
CALGARY 3 NEW JERSEY 2
Sean Monahan scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner. He has 27 markers and 49 points in 53 games.
Johnny Gaudreau scored a goal and registered an assist to extend his point streak to four games. The Flames forward has 18 goals and 64 points in 54 contests.
David Rittich stopped 30 of 32 Devils shots. It was his first start since Jan. 25 and his first win since Jan. 12. He’s been a solid backup goalie, but the Flames have used him sparingly.
Taylor Hall found the back of the net and registered an assist for New Jersey. He’s up to 20 goals and 54 points in 48 games.
Keith Kinkaid allowed three goals on 25 shots on Thursday. That gives him a 10-6-2 record, 3.12 GAA, and .893 save percentage in 19 contests.
PHILADELPHIA 5 MONTREAL 3
Travis Konecny led the charge for Philadelphia with a pair of goals that included the game-winner. He has 13 goals and 27 points in 54 games.
Claude Giroux also came up big with a goal and two assists. That gives him 16 goals and 61 points in 54 contests this season.
Their efforts contributed to Carey Price surrendering four goals on 27 shots. Price has had a rough season, but he had been better lately, allowing just five goals over his previous three starts.
Brian Elliott saved 25 of 28 shots Thursday night. He’s won his last four starts and has allowed seven goals over that span.
Artturi Lehkonen found the back of the net for Montreal. It was his fifth goal and ninth point in 38 contests.
OTTAWA 4 NASHVILLE 3 (OT)
P.K. Subban scored two goals for Nashville, including a marker late in the third period that forced overtime. The Predators defenseman has 15 goals and 43 points in 53 games this season.
Craig Anderson kicked out 35 of 38 shots to pick up his third straight victory. He’s allowed at least three goals in each of those games, but he’s also made a minimum of 30 saves in all of them.
At the other end of the ice, Juuse Saros stopped 32 of 36 shots Thursday night. He’s lost his last three starts with two of those defeats coming in overtime.
Mike Hoffman scored the overtime winner. He extended his goal scoring streak to three games and his point streak to five contests.
Max McCormick also found the back of the net for Ottawa. It was his first goal and point in five games this season.
TAMPA BAY 5 VANCOUVER 2
Nikita Kucherov scored a goal and registered an assist. That gives him 28 goals and 68 points in 54 contests.
Steven Stamkos also had a goal and an assist for the Lightning. He’s up to 20 goals and 62 points in 54 games.
Brock Boeser found the back of the net for Vancouver. The rookie is up to 26 markers and 47 points in 51 games.
Anders Nilsson stopped 31 of 36 shots last night. He’s lost seven straight starts with his last win coming back on Nov. 30.
Andrei Vasilevskiy saved 27 of 29 Canucks shots. He has a 32-10-2 record, 2.28 GAA, and .929 save percentage in 45 games.
ST. LOUIS 6 COLORADO 1
Carter Hutton bounced back nicely from his rough start against Minnesota on Tuesday by stopping 23 of 24 shots Thursday night. He improved to 15-5-1 with a 1.70 GAA and .944 save percentage in 25 games this season.
Brayden Schenn scored a pair of goals for the Blues. He has 23 markers and 53 points in 56 contests.
Paul Stastny scored a goal and registered an assist. That gives the St. Louis forward 12 goals and 38 points in 56 games.
Gabriel Bourque netted Colorado’s only goal. It was his fourth goal and sixth point in 29 contests.
Jonathan Bernier lasted 25:05 minutes because he stopped just 17 of 20 shots. Semyon Varlamov didn’t fare better though as he surrendered three goals on 11 shots.
ARIZONA 4 MINNESOTA 3 (OT)
Nick Cousins scored a pair of goals for the Coyotes. He has nine markers and 12 points in 43 games.
Clayton Keller netted the overtime winner. It was his 15th goal and 37th point in 54 games.
Antti Raanta saved 25 of 28 Wild shots. He has a 9-14-5 record, 2.63 GAA, and .915 save percentage in 30 starts.
Matt Cullen found the back of the net and recorded an assist. The Minnesota forward has five goals and 13 points in 52 contests.
Devan Dubnyk turned aside 36 of 40 shots on Thursday. He fell to 21-10-4 with a 2.68 GAA and .916 save percentage in 37 games.
DALLAS 4 CHICAGO 2
Tyler Seguin led the charge for Dallas by scoring twice. He’s up to 28 goals and 50 points in 55 games.
Tyler Pitlick accounted for the game-winning goal. It was his 10th marker and 18th point in 53 games.
Brent Seabrook assisted on both of Chicago’s goals. He has three goals and 17 points in 53 contests in 2017-18.
Anton Forsberg stopped 26 of 29 Stars shots. He has a 5-9-3 record, 2.95 GAA, and .910 save percentage in 20 games.
Ben Bishop saved 37 of 39 shots to earn his second straight win. He’s up to 23-14-3 with a 2.43 GAA and .920 save percentage in 42 games.
VEGAS 5 SAN JOSE 3
Jonathan Marchessault scored a goal and recorded an assist for Vegas. He has 20 goals and 54 points in 51 games. He’s already topped his previous career-high of 51 points, which he set in 2016-17.
James Neal netted the game-winning goal. It was his 24th goal and 37th point in 54 contests.
Marc-Andre Fleury saved 35 of 38 Sharks shots. He lost on Tuesday to Pittsburgh, but this victory prevented him from losing back-to-back starts in regulation for the first time this season. He has dropped back-to-back starts on two occasions in 2017-18, but both involved one consolation point.
Brent Burns assisted on all three of San Jose’s goals. The blueliner has nine goals and 47 points in 54 games.
Martin Jones turned aside 28 of 32 shots on Thursday. This ended his run of three straight starts where he allowed two or fewer goals.