Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford left Friday’s game against the Stars in the second period with a groin injury and will be out for the Blackhawks’ season finale Saturday against the Predators in Nashville.
Crawford appeared to suffer the injury in the first period when he made a save by going post-to-post. He got up slowly and was favoring his right leg. He returned for the second period, but was pulled for Cam Ward before the midway point. The team doesn’t anticipate Crawford’s injury to be serious.
Ward made 25 saves on 26 shots in Chicago’s 6-1 win in his 700th career NHL game. The Blackhawks called up Kevin Lankinen from the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL to back up Ward on Saturday.
It’s the first call up for the 23-year-old Lankinen, who is the fifth goaltender on the organization’s depth chart behind Crawford, Ward, Collin Delia and Anton Forsberg. Delia and Forsberg are both with the IceHogs this weekend for their back-to-back against the Texas Stars in Cedar Park, Texas. Delia made 26 saves in Rockford’s 2-1 loss Friday, and Forsberg is expected to start Saturday.
Lankinen has split time this season between the IceHogs and the Indy Fuel in the ECHL. He’s 7-7-4 with a 2.47 goals-against average and .911 save percentage in 18 AHL games in his first North American season. The Finnish netminder signed a two-year contract with the Blackhawks last May.