blackhawks_canucks.jpg

Richard Panik celebrates after scoring during Sunday’s game. | Associated Press

Jonathan Toews, Corey Crawford boost Blackhawks past Canucks

SHARE Jonathan Toews, Corey Crawford boost Blackhawks past Canucks
SHARE Jonathan Toews, Corey Crawford boost Blackhawks past Canucks

For the Blackhawks to get where they want to go, they’re going to need goalie Corey Crawford to return to form. Sunday was only one game, but he showed some encouraging signs.

And so did their captain.

Jonathan Toews had four points, including the tiebreaking goal with 1:18 left, and Crawford made 26 saves to lead the Hawks to a 4-2 victory against the Vancouver Canucks at the United Center.

The Hawks led 2-0 after two periods, thanks to goals by Richard Panik and Patrick Kane, but allowed the Canucks to tie the score before Toews scored the go-ahead goal. He then assisted on an empty-netter by Marian Hossa as the Hawks won their third game in a row since suffering consecutive losses.

They also saw Crawford bounce back from his recent woes and win his 200th game. He joined Tony Esposito (418), Glenn Hall (275) and Ed Belfour (201) as Hawks goalies to reach that milestone.

‘‘It’s pretty special,’’ he said.

Crawford hadn’t been special recently. He entered the game with a mediocre .903 save percentage since his appendectomy and hadn’t look as sharp as backup Scott Darling, who made 30 saves in the Hawks’ 1-0 road victory Friday against the Boston Bruins.

But instead of riding the hot hand, the Hawks went back to Crawford, who justified the choice. There was some thought of staying with Darling, but coach Joel Quenneville had other ideas.

‘‘That was definitely something we wanted to think about,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘At the same time, we want ‘Crow’ playing as much as he can to get back to that great pace he had prior to him being away. He hasn’t been bad, but certainly that’s what we’re looking for him to get back to. . . . He looked like he was in control.’’

The Hawks took a 1-0 lead when Panik beat Canucks goalie Ryan Miller from the slot with 5:33 left in the first period. Defenseman Brian Campbell, who reached 500 career points with an assist on the goal, found an open Panik, whose shot hit the crossbar but trickled in.

The Hawks made it 2-0 with 2:30 left in the first when Toews dislodged the puck, which bounced to Kane in the right circle. His shot beat Miller over his left shoulder.

After the Canucks tied the score with two goals 46 seconds apart early in the third, the Hawks regained the lead when a shot by Panik rang off the end boards and came to Toews, who scored from the left circle.

‘‘I guess the goals I’ve scored lately are just getting those bounces from being at the right spot at the right time,’’ Toews said. ‘‘It was nice to get that one on my stick. I just keep telling [linemates Ryan Hartman] and [Panik] just to keep shooting.’’

Follow me on Twitter @BrianSandalow.


The Latest
The man, 24, was found by a tenant with two gunshot wounds to the head in the entry way of the complex in the 7800 block of South Laflin Street about 1:30 a.m., police said.
State troopers responding to the shooting about 8:10 p.m. found the woman, 25, with injuries considered life threatening, fire officials and Illinois state police said.
Aidy Bryant and Kyle Mooney say subtler goodbyes on the 47th season finale.
Jaylun Sanders, 21, faces two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting. A second man, 20-year-old Kameron Abram, faces weapons and trespassing charges, police said.