Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks makes a save as teammates (L-R) Jassen Cullimore, Nick Boynton and Jake Dowell hold off Wayne Simmonds and Kyle Clifford of the Los Angeles Kings at the United Center on December 19 2010 in Chicago Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Chicago Blackhawks Vs. Los Angeles Kings: Corey Crawford's 26 Saves Lead Hawks To Win

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Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith And Fernando Pisani Score In Blackhawks' 3-2 Win

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Jonathan Toews scored a goal and added an assist to lead the Chicago Blackhawks to a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings at United Center.

Fernando Pisani and Duncan Keith also scored for the Blackhawks, who are 7-3-1 in their last 11 games, including wins in the last two. Patrick Sharp had a pair of assists, while Corey Crawford had 26 saves in the victory.

Wayne Simmonds recorded a goal and an assist for the Kings, who have lost three of five. Kyle Clifford also scored, and Jonathan Quick allowed all three goals on 24 shots in defeat.

After the Kings tied the game early in the second period, the Blackhawks responded 25 seconds later to take the lead for good.

Keith held the puck at the point as the Hawks assembled a screen in front of Quick. The Chicago blueliner unleashed a low slapshot from the left point that made its way through traffic at the 1:59 mark for a 2-1 advantage.

With 7:35 left in the frame, Pisani picked up a loose puck in the slot from a 3-on-2 rush and beat Quick on the short side for a two-goal margin heading to the third.

Simmonds brought the Kings within one 1:20 into the third when he took a feed from Anze Kopitar down low and lifted it over Crawford into the roof of the net, but Crawford was strong down the stretch.

Los Angeles outshot the Hawks, 11-4, in the third period, but Crawford was able to stop 10 of them to maintain Chicago’s lead. Dustin Brown was called for a boarding penalty with 2:47 remaining, cutting into the Kings’ desperation attack time.

Toews put Chicago on the board with a wrister from the right circle at 11:30 of the opening period, but the Kings tied it 1:34 into the second.

Los Angeles had an odd-man rush after a failed clear by Chicago, and Michal Handzus carried into the offensive zone and dished to Clifford, who drove in from the left side and used a forehand-to-backhand move to put the puck past Crawford.

Game Notes

Neither team scored on the power play; Chicago went 0-for-3 and Los Angeles went 0-for-1…The Blackhawks improved to 10-9-0 at home, while the Kings fell to 7-10-0 on the road…Chicago leads the season series, 3-0, and has won the last five in the series.


Chicago Blackhawks Vs. Los Angeles Kings: Playing Through Patrick Kane's Injury

There were optimistic reports on Friday that Patrick Kane might be ready to play tonight, and maybe Marian Hossa would even be back.

No such luck -- not only are those two not available for tonight's game against the Kings, but Viktor Stalberg will also be out with an injury. So the shorthanded Hawks -- who are actually 6-3-1 in their last 10 games, surprisingly enough -- will try to defeat the Kings for the third time this season. They won 3-1 on Oct. 27 at the United Center and 2-1 on Nov. 27 in Los Angeles; why this game is not being played on Dec. 27 instead of Dec. 19 is something known only to the schedule-makers.

Corey Crawford, who made 29 saves in a fine performance against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night, will get the start again and is, for all intents and purposes, the No. 1 goaltender for the Blackhawks now. How that will affect the psyche of Marty Turco is not known, but this is very similar to last season where the failures of Cristobal Huet led to Antti Niemi becoming the starting goalie, and Niemi helped lead the Hawks to the Stanley Cup.

Tonight's game begins at 6 p.m. CST and will be televised on WGN (Chicago only). Outside of the Chicago area you can see the game on the NHL Network.

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