Corey Crawford made 29 saves and had an assist in the Blackhawks’ 4-3 win over the Ducks on Wednesday in his first start in 28 games since suffering his second concussion in less than a year.
Crawford missed 47 games last season with a concussion and five games to start this season before returning. He went 6-14-2 before going down with his second concussion Dec. 16 against San Jose.
Alex DeBrincat scored twice, and Patrick Kane scored his 40th goal of the season with 17 seconds left to give the Blackhawks the victory Wednesday at the Honda Center in Anaheim. Erik Gustafsson and Jonathan Toews each had two assists, and Artem Anisimov scored a shorthanded goal.
With the win, Chicago moved within five points of Colorado and Minnesota, who are tied for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference.
The Blackhawks, however, lost forward Drake Caggiula to a concussion after a hit by Rickard Rickell in the second period.
Devin Shore, Carter Rowney and Troy Terry scored for the Ducks, who lost their fourth straight game. Ryan Miller stopped 31 shots.
Toews nearly put the Blackhawks on the scoreboard with a wraparound attempt at 6:45, but Miller came up big. Dominik Kahun then had a 3-on-1 with Dylan Strome and DeBrincat, but the German held onto the puck too long and couldn’t get off a clear shot.
The Blackhawks squandered a power play chance in the first, and even saw Max Jones create a shorthanded chance but Adam Henrique wasn’t able to corral the pass.
After a dull first period, the opening minute of the second frame picked up the pace.
Rakell was assessed a 5-minute boarding penalty and a game misconduct after blindsiding Caggiula. DeBrincat fired a shot from the left faceoff circle off the post and in 13 seconds into the power play for a 1-0 lead 49 seconds into the period.
Shore leveled the score 1-1 at 4:22 with a shorthanded goal. Josh Manson cleared the puck out of the Ducks’ zone passed Strome to Shore, who had a 2-on-1 with Derek Grant against Erik Gustafsson. Shore tried to pass the puck to Grant, but Gustafsson blocked it and Shore followed the puck and put it past Crawford.
Anisimov rushed up the ice and snapped a quick shot top shelf for a shorthanded goal to put the Blackhawks ahead 2-1 at 16:42.
Ryan Kelser threw a pass to the front of the net with a clear look, and Rowney redirected the puck by Crawford at 18:37 to knot the score 2-2.
Terry gave the Ducks their only lead of the game at 5:35 of the third. Derek Grant took the puck away from Crawford behind the net and dished it between his legs to Terry, who scored on an open net.
Daniel Sprong had a 1-on-1 breakaway, but Gustafsson made a good defensive play to break up the scoring chance. Shortly after that Toews into the offensive zone around the net and threaded a pass between Miller and Manson to find DeBrincat, who tapped in his second goal of the night and 36th of the season.
Kane and Brandon Saad skated in on a 2-on-1 and Kane sniped the puck into the net for his second 40-goal season of his career.
The Blackhawks continue their California road trip Saturday when they visit the Kings in Los Angeles.
- Alex DeBrincat (CHI) — 2 goals (1 PPG)
- Corey Crawford (CHI) — 29 saves, 1 assist
- Jonathan Toews (CHI) — 2 assists