EDMONTON, Alberta — For Corey Crawford, this whole 3-on-3 overtime thing is pretty simple. Either he makes some sort of superhuman save, or he loses the game. Because with so much open ice, there aren’t a whole lot of humdrum scoring chances.
“You know there’s going to be a grade-A scoring chance — a guy pretty much all alone with the goalie,” Crawford shrugged. “If not on one side, then on both sides. Most of the time, it’s going to be a big save or a goal.”
On Wednesday night in Edmonton, it was a big save. The new overtime format might be designed mainly for forwards, but Crawford showed the goalie can win the game, too. His spectacular glove save on Taylor Hall — on a two-on-one with Leon Draisaitl —kept the Blackhawks alive just long enough for Marian Hossa to slap the game-winner past Anders Nilsson for a harrowing 4-3 victory over the last-place Oilers.
Crawford had little choice but to come out and challenge Draisaitl, who held the puck extra long before slipping a pass past Duncan Keith’s outstretched stick to Hall. Crawford didn’t have time to slide over, so he simply flung his glove out and snared the puck a hair in front of the goal line.
“Obviously a highlight save,” Hossa said. “That basically kept us in the game.“
Crawford’s save and Hossa’s breakthrough breakaway — he had been stopped on a few breakaways this season, including one by Nilsson in the second period — masked an underwhelming game for the Hawks, who were outplayed and outworked for most of the game.
As usual, it was the line of Patrick Kane, Artemi Panarin and Artem Anisimov that carried the Hawks. Kane assisted on goals by Keith and Panarin to stake the Hawks to a 2-0 lead in the second period and extended his point streak to 14 games, matching his career high. Through 19 games, Kane has 13 goals and 17 assists to lead the NHL in points. It’s early, of course, but he’s on pace for 129 points. Dallas’ Jamie Benn won the scoring title last season with just 87.
But Jordan Eberle scored late in the second and Benoit Pouliot scored early in the third to tie it.
Andrew Shaw had a go-ahead goal midway through the third, but the Hawks couldn’t protect that lead, either, as Draisaitl tied it with 2:46 left in the third.
The Hawks lost Teuvo Teravainen to an upper-body injury in the second period, but Joel Quenneville said it wasn’t serious. The Hawks coach was just glad to escape with a third straight win.
“It was good to get a win starting this trip,” Quenneville said. “But our last two games were much more effective.”