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Corey Crawford propels Blackhawks to 2-1 OT win over Predators

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Crawford made 42 saves and Alex DeBrincat scored two goals.

NHL: Nashville Predators at Chicago Blackhawks Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Blackhawks evened up the season series against the Predators with a 2-1 overtime victory on Friday at United Center.

Corey Crawford and Pekka Rinne were both spectacular in net. Crawford made 42 saves on 43 shots, including a ridiculous 22 high-danger saves, and Rinne collected 36 saves.

Alex DeBrincat scored both goals for Chicago and the penalty kill went 5-or-5.

Duncan Keith picked up two assists to join prestigious company.

Defenseman Erik Gustafsson was held out of the lineup for precautionary reasons with the the NHL trade deadline coming up on Monday.

How it Happened

The majority of the first period was controlled by the Blackhawks, who looked highly energized and used momentum from a strong early power play to have a 12-to-2 shot advantage at one point.

During that first power play, Chicago bombarded Rinne with seven shots, but couldn’t beat the 37-year old netminder.

At 9:14, Brandon Saad made a nice move to spring himself on a short-handed breakaway and was awarded a penalty shot after a Filip Forsberg slash.

At 18:07, the Blackhawks was awarded their second power play of the opening period after Nick Seeler drew a offensive zone cross-checking penalty from Viktor Arvidsson. Keith just missed scoring his 100th goal after his one-timer from the point hit the post.

Crawford opened the second period with a handful of quality saves, including these two stops on Rocco Grimaldi and Kyle Turris.

Chicago’s netminder was the star of the middle frame as Crawford finished with 19 saves, including this high-danger stop on Forsberg during a 5-on-3.

After escaping a 5-on-3 and the resulting 5-on-4 penalty kill, Mattias Ekholm gave the Predators a 1-0 lead at 14:56 on a 3-on-2 rush.

At 7:38, Chicago got a 5-on-3, but Rinne made two incredible stops and Patrick Kane hit the post. Rinne looked unbeatable after that sequence.

Then, at 9:05, DeBrincat finally buried a power play goal for the Blackhawks to snap a long, frustrating streak of missed opportunities on the man advantage. Kane fired a knuckling shot from the top of the left circle that tipped off of DeBrincat’s hands and stick to beat Rinne.

It was DeBrincat’s tenth power play goal of the season.

Both teams pushed hard to get the lead back, but Crawford and Rinne continued their excellent goaltending. It felt like a blast from the past as there’s been so many goalie duels between these two netminders in last decade’s playoff series.

In the last minute before overtime, Jonathan Toews and Drake Caggiula were inches from scoring, but couldn’t get a friendly bounce over the goal line.

During overtime, neither team could get an odd man rush until Keith forced a turnover in front of Crawford and snapped a pass to DeBrincat for a breakaway. The Cat buried it top shelf for the win!

It was his second goal of the game and his third game winning goal of the season.

That was entertaining, fast and fun hockey from both sides on a rare Friday night game.

Game Charts

Puck possession game flow (5-on-5)
Shot heat map (All situations)

Three Stars

1. Corey Crawford (CHI) - 42 saves, 4.59 expected goals against

2. Pekka Rinne (NSH) - 36 saves, 4.80 expected goals against

3. Alex DeBrincat (CHI) - Two goals, eight shots

What’s next?

The Blackhawks embark on a four game road trip that begins with a Central Division showdown against the Stars at 2 p.m. Sunday at American Airlines Center.