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National Hockey League
Chicago 2, Minnesota 0
When: 8:00 PM ET, Saturday, November 4, 2017
Where: Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Referees: Kendrick Nicholson, Brad Watson
Linesmen: Bevan Mills, Scott Driscoll
Attendance: 19218

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- As the Chicago Blackhawks have gotten off to an uneven start to the season, goalie Corey Crawford has been a steadying force.

That was once again the case Saturday against Minnesota. Crawford, who has statistically been one of the NHL's best goalies so far this season, put together another stellar outing to steal a win for Chicago.

Crawford made 24 saves for his second consecutive shutout as the Blackhawks skated to a 2-0 win over the Wild.

"He just finds the puck and battles like crazy on every shot and the second shot as well," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said of Crawford. "He's been great. It's been fun watching him.

Artem Anisimov's power-play goal off a deflection of Duncan Keith's shot with 5:42 remaining in the third period held as the winning goal. Chicago had a four-minute power play after a high-sticking call on Wild forward Luke Kunin.

It was the fifth goal of the year for Anisimov, who has a goal in four straight games. He battled for position in front of Minnesota's net and redirected the long shot from Keith.

"Just one of those games where I felt like whoever was going to score first was going to get it," said Crawford, who lowered his goals-against average this season to a league-best 1.75. “It's a good road win for us."

Alex DeBrincat added an empty-net goal with 1:37 remaining. DeBrincat nearly had a goal early in the third period but his shot hit off the post.

Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk stopped 33 of the 34 shots he faced. He earned the loss after winning his last three starts in net.

Minnesota nearly scored the game's first goal on the first power play of the night as forward Nino Niederreiter redirected a pass that hit off the left post. Niederreiter raised his arms in celebration and the goal horn momentarily went off in Xcel Energy Center.

There was no indication of a goal by the officials, though, as play went on and the game remained scoreless.

“Ninety-nine percent it goes in somehow, maybe it goes somehow off his back or off his helmet,” Niederreiter said. “But at the end of the day, right after, we had another couple great chances we have to bury. I think we had enough chances early on to [win].”

Crawford made his best save of the night early in the third period. Wild forward Eric Staal had a good look at the net on a breakaway, but Crawford got enough of his glove on the puck to deny Staal.

“Both goalies were out of this world, I thought,” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. “When you have open nets and you have two breakaways in the third period you've got to score because eventually the other team is going to get that one chance and put it in.”

The Wild had several good scoring chances in the third but Crawford stood tall in every instance. Defenseman Jan Rutta helped Crawford out on one of Minnesota's chances by clearing a loose puck in the crease.

Minnesota (5-5-2) finished 3-3-0 on its six-game homestand. The Wild now leave town for a four-game road trip, beginning Monday in Boston.

“I think we played one good game, we come in the next day and next game and not play that good,” Wild forward Mikael Granlund said. “So we gotta be better, that’s the bottom line. And we’re going to go on the road and it’s going to get tougher.”

Chicago (7-5-2) returns home to host Montreal on Sunday, the fourth back-to-back already this season for the Blackhawks. It remains to be seen if Crawford will get the start in Sunday's game after Saturday’s shutout.

"I want to play as much as I can," Crawford said. "But that's really up to (coach)."

NOTES: Wild D Kyle Quincey returned to the ice after sitting out the last two games as a healthy scratch. Quincey skated alongside Mike Reilly on Minnesota's third defensive pairing. ... Chicago is now 1-2-1 in the first game of back-to-backs this season. ... LW Zach Parise, D Gustav Olofsson and C Landon Ferraro were scratches for the Wild on Saturday. ... D Gustav Forsling, C Tanner Kero and D Jordan Oesterle were Chicago's scratches.
Top Game Performances
 
Chicago   Minnesota
Artem Anisimov 1 Points N/A
Artem Anisimov 1 Goals N/A
Patrick Kane 1 Assists N/A
Artem Anisimov 1 Power Play Goals N/A
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Corey Crawford 1.000 Save Percentage Devan Dubnyk .971
Corey Crawford 24 Saves Devan Dubnyk 33
Team Stats Summary
 
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Chicago 35 2 1-4 2-2 4 34
Minnesota 24 0 0-2 3-4 8 26
Upcoming Games
  • Minnesota will play their next game on the road against Boston. The Wild have a W/L % of .167 after a win and .667 after a loss.
  • Chicago will play their next game at home against Montreal. The Blackhawks have a W/L % of .429 after a win and .571 after a loss.