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Crawford gets nod again for Blackhawks

by Brian Hedger

CHICAGO – A couple days off await the Chicago Blackhawks before getting back on the road again for six games, but that wasn’t the only reason coach Joel Quenneville opted to start Corey Crawford on Sunday night at United Center against the visiting Detroit Red Wings.

Crawford got the nod -- his fourth in a row and fifth in six games this season -- because he’s been solid in a starting role for the Blackhawks (5-0-0) – whose five-game win streak to start this season tied the franchise mark set by the 1971-72 team.

“He’s played well this week and we’re going to keep him going,” Quenneville said on Sunday afternoon, prior to playing Detroit (7 p.m. ET, FS-Detroit, CSN-Chicago). “He looks quick. He’s got some momentum, as well, so we’ll give him another crack tonight.”

Through his first four starts, Crawford is 4-0-0 with a 1.99 goals-against average and .923 save percentage. Quenneville said that backup goalie Ray Emery, whose only start was a 6-4 road victory against the Phoenix Coyotes on Jan. 20, will likely return to action during the upcoming road trip.

The Blackhawks won’t play Monday or Tuesday before embarking on a six-game swing that starts on Wednesday at Minnesota and includes back-to-back games next weekend against the rival Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames.

“We’ve got two days off and we’ve got three in four nights,” Quenneville said. “I’m sure that Ray’s going to get a game, at least. I don’t want to look too far ahead, but Corey’s deserving of keeping it going and [seeing] how it goes.”

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