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Blackhawks' Crawford OK after taking shot off mask

by Corey Masisak /

CHICAGO -- Corey Crawford said he's fine after taking a shot off the mask late in Game 2 of this Western Conference First Round Series.

Crawford made 30 saves Sunday to help the Chicago Blackhawks defeat the Minnesota Wild 4-1 and take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series.

"I didn't pick it up right away," Crawford said. "That was kind of a bomb from almost the corner. I saw it like last second and I kind of turned my head and lost my balance a little bit."

Crawford wobbled after the shot hit him, but stayed with the play as the puck moved around in the Chicago zone. He went to the bench and changed masks, but remained in the game.

Coach Joel Quenneville said Crawford was fine after the shot and fine after the game.

"It was just dented a little bit," Crawford said of the mask. "Whenever it's dented there's a chance the next one can squeak through so you just have to change it."

This was Crawford's best postseason start since Game 1 of the 2014 Western Conference Final. He had allowed at least three goals in nine straight postseason starts, though he did stop all 13 shots he faced in relief in Game 6 of the first round against the Nashville Predators.

He didn't have a lot of work early, but shortly after Chicago went up 1-0 in the second period, Crawford had to make a pair of fantastic saves in separate chaotic sequences to keep Minnesota from tying the game.

"A lot of talk about the goals we scored, and the defensive plays leading to those guys scoring the goals, but [Crawford] made some huge saves there in the second period," Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp said. "That's big. The building gets into it, they start chanting his name. That energy feeds into our lineup and we play better from there."


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