Make it 12 games without a regulation loss for the Chicago Blackhawks.
And now they play their next seven games at home.
Corey Crawford stopped 17 shots to notch his sixth career shutout –- his first in almost two years -- as the Blackhawks earned a 3-0 victory against the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena on Sunday night.
"It feels great," Crawford said of his club's phenomenal start. "It seems like everyone gets along. We have some great veterans that lead the way and it seems like the new guys have just followed in nicely. It's just a great bunch of guys and we're playing great hockey right now."
Patrick Kane also added a goal in the third as the Blackhawks wrapped up their season-high six-game road trip with their fourth straight win and improved to 8-0-2 away from the United Center.
The shutout was Chicago's first in regulation since Mar. 23, 2011 against the Florida Panthers.
"We don't want to change anything," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said about finally returning home for Tuesday's match against the Anaheim Ducks. "We don't want to feel like we're at home now, we can let the air out or we want to be cute. We want to play the same way. We like the contributions across the board and let's get excited with the building and the noise and our fans. I'm sure they want to see some hockey, too, so it'll be nice to be there."
Nashville missed its best chance at scoring when Nick Spaling's backhander sent the puck sliding across the crease before hitting off the far post at 10:02 of the first period. The Predators managed only three shots on goal in the first.
"We didn't really challenge them very well," Nashville forward Mike Fisher said. "It wasn't our A-game, no question. They run and gun a little bit more and they bury them when they can like they did tonight."
Preds goalie Pekka Rinne had won four straight starts and hadn't allowed an even-strength goal since Jan. 28. But that streak ended at 316 minutes, 40 seconds when Nashville defenseman Roman Josi kicked the puck, trying to clear it, right to Kruger near the high slot. Kruger snapped a shot over Rinne's stick for his second goal of the season at 6:14.
"I mean just put a tent over that circus," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "You make five, six mistakes like that, it's going to end up in your net. It wasn't a classic goal or anything."
Chicago also got a bit of luck as Duncan Keith's shot from the right circle deflected off Toews in front of Rinne and went up and over the Nashville goalie into the net at 7:20 for a 2-0 lead. It was Toews' sixth goal of the season and the 150th of his career.
The Blackhawks wound up with 27 shots, including Kane's ninth goal this season. He scored at 4:27 of the third after skating up the left boards and shooting at the net, sneaking the puck past Rinne for the 3-0 lead.
Kane extended his point streak to six games and his goal-scoring streak to five. He leads the club with 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists) in 12 games this season.
"I was really pleased with the way we started and finished the game," Quenneville said. "Everybody contributed again today."
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report
|Rich Clune Fighting (maj) against Andrew Shaw|
|Andrew Shaw Fighting (maj) against Rich Clune|
|Sergei Kostitsyn Hooking against Jonathan Toews|
|Marcus Kruger Tripping against Colin Wilson|
|Martin Erat Tripping against Brandon Saad|