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game recap

Crawford's 33 saves help Blackhawks defeat Red Wings

Chicago pulls away from Detroit with two goals in third period

by Brian Hedger / Correspondent

CHICAGO -- A strong puck-possession game helped the Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup three times in six years, but the defending champions are learning how to win without the puck this season.

The latest example was the Blackhawks' 4-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings at United Center on Sunday, when they were outshot 13-3 in the second period and 34-26 overall.

Chicago goalie Corey Crawford made 26 of 33 saves in the second and third period, and the Blackhawks swept the season series against the Red Wings after winning 5-2 at Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday.

"In some of those [games] where we're maybe not firing on all cylinders, we're able to hang in there and give ourselves a chance in a shootout or overtime or at the end of a game," said Chicago captain Jonathan Toews, who scored the second of two Blackhawks goals in the third period to seal the win. "We can focus and take pride in hanging in there and just simplifying when maybe the other team is really throwing everything at us, and then see what happens. When we're able to counter, then things will go our way."

Video: DET@CHI: Kane nets goal 21 seconds into game

Artem Anisimov had a goal and an assist, and Artemi Panarin and defenseman Michal Rozsival each had two assists for Chicago (41-21-5). Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith and Toews each had a goal.

Gustav Nyquist scored for Detroit (32-22-11), which played without center Pavel Datsyuk (illness).

It was one of those games Toews mentioned, despite Kane, the NHL's leading scorer, scoring 21 seconds into the game for his career-high 89th point and Keith following with a power-play goal at 6:19 of the first for a 2-0 lead.

The Red Wings replaced starting goalie Petr Mrazek with Jimmy Howard after Keith's goal, and Detroit gained momentum after Nyquist made it 2-1 at 8:34.

Video: DET@CHI: Toews' redirection extends the lead to three

After a Chicago turnover, Nyquist took a pass from defenseman Danny DeKeyser and beat Crawford high to the glove side. Detroit carried play from that point until midway through the third but couldn't turn the surge into another goal.

"I thought our guys did a great job of keeping things to the outside and clearing rebounds," said Crawford, who extended his NHL career-high for wins in a season to 35. "It's not necessarily how many shots you give up; it's the quality. I think we should be able to stop them if they keep shooting from the outside and the boards, but we're really limiting teams' chances from the inside."

The Red Wings went 0-for-3 on the power play Sunday and 1-for-7 in the two games. The Blackhawks, who are third in the NHL on the power play, went 2-for-3 in each game.

Video: DET@CHI: Crawford keeps the Blackhawks ahead

Howard made 19 saves after replacing Mrazek, who allowed all five Blackhawks goals in the first game on 33 shots.

"Concern long term, I don't have any," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said of Mrazek, who allowed five goals in three of his previous six starts. "Long term, I have tons of belief in Petr. But in the short term, he's got to make more saves than he did today and make more saves than he has recently."

Howard made several saves immediately after entering the game but didn't get much work in the second period or the first 10 minutes of the third. Chicago tied its season low of three shots in a period in the second and went more than 15 minutes without a shot.

Crawford helped kill off three Red Wings power plays, making three saves with the Blackhawks shorthanded in the second and three more during Detroit's carryover time with the man-advantage to start the third.

Video: DET@CHI: Anisimov deflects Panarin's shot to pad lead

Anisimov then scored on the power play at 11:15 of the third to make it 3-1, and Toews scored 68 seconds later when Andrew Desjardins sent the puck off him and into the net.

"We did a lot of good things, had a lot of good gaps and didn't give them a lot of space," said Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg, who filled in for Datsyuk at center on the top line. "If we can play like that, we're a good team, but you have to put some pucks behind the goalie too."

The Red Wings next play at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday. It's unknown whether Datsyuk, who's day-to-day with flu symptoms, will be available.

Video: DET@CHI: Nyquist snipes the top corner in the 1st

The Blackhawks, who lead the Central Division and Western Conference with 87 points, have two big division games next. They play at the St. Louis Blues (85 points) on Wednesday and at the Dallas Stars (87 points) on Friday.

Chicago will try to recapture its dominance in puck possession but knows it's not a necessity to win.

"I still think we can be better," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "The start was good. We had good stretches in the game, but then you watch the second period and we need the puck more. When we have it the whole game, we'll let you know if we like it. It's hard to play a full 60 [minutes] with the puck in today's game."

Video: Crawford, Kane power Blackhawks past Red Wings

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