Corey Crawford made 32 saves for Chicago (22-20-6). He improved to 6-0-2 with two shutouts in eight games in his hometown.
Montreal-born Corey Crawford added yet another stellar showing vs hometown club the Canadiens tonight. As these stats show, the @NHLBlackhawks goalie has made quite a habit of frustrating the Habs in their own barn pic.twitter.com/nrJcK3wyfN— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) January 16, 2020
Drake Caggiula had a goal and an assist, causing a turnover from goaltender Charlie Lindgren that led to Smith’s shorthanded goal and scoring a goal of his own in the third.
The Blackhawks finally got a hot start to the game as Caggiula wrenched the puck away from Lindgren behind the net and got the puck to Smith for Chicago’s fifth short-handed tally of the season:
Smith scored again at 8:32 for a 2-0 lead. A good bit of work at the blue line from Slater Koekkoek and Olli Maatta led to an opportunity on net, and Smith deflected it in.
The Blackhawks and Canadiens were even in the first period, 50-percent Corsi either way, but Chicago dominated high-danger attempts 8-3 and had 1.56 expected goals to 1.01 for Montreal.
Former Blackhawk Phillip Danault scored 54 seconds in to make it 2-1:
But that was the only goal Montreal would get past Crawford, as they had just 10 shots on goal in the middle frame and the Blackhawks continued to out produce the Canadiens, with high-danger chances being 8-6.
Alex DeBrincat answered on the power play with his 12th goal of the season at 11:27 of the second period for a 3-1 lead. DeBrincat sniped a shot past Lindgren, who appeared to be injured (although he stayed in the game) and lost his blocker previously in the man advantage after a pile-up in front of the net.
Caggiula sealed the game at 11:40 of the third after a Jonathan Toews power-play goal was disallowed after review showed a kicking motion. Caggiula turned a takeaway from Jordan Weal into a goal, his first since coming back from a concussion.
Crawford stepped up in a major way to keep the Canadiens off the scoreboard despite a 25 to 17 scoring advantage and a 60.8-percent Corsi for Montreal at 5-on-5.
1. Zack Smith (CHI) — 2 goals, 4 shots, .43 expected goals
2. Corey Crawford (CHI) — 32 saves, 6 high-danger saves, 2.64 expected goals against
3. Drake Caggiula (CHI) — 1 goal, 1 assist, 1 takeaway
The Blackhawks finish their three-game Canadian road trip Saturday against the Maple Leafs at 6 p.m. in Toronto.