After surrendering six goals in a blowout loss to the Nashville Predators on Friday night, Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford will watch Sunday’s Game 3 from the bench as Scott Darling will get the start at the United Center.
“It’s a tough decision for us,” head coach Joel Quenneville said of the choice to go with Darling. “Crow has done so much for us in the past and he’s had a tremendous year.”
Crawford, who won the William Jennings Trophy for helping the Blackhawks to the fewest goals against in the NHL this season, has struggled in a big way so far in this series. In four periods of play, he’s allowed nine goals, and he was visibly rattled down the stretch of Friday’s loss.
Darling, meanwhile, was excellent in relief in Game 1 of the series, stopping all 42 shots he faced as the Hawks notched a come-from-behind 4-3 victory in double overtime.
Quenneville said that he wasn’t the one to give Crawford the news (that falls on goaltending coach Jimmy Waite), but he did say that he expects the goaltender will be okay with the decision.
“I would expect Crow to handle it like a pro,” he said. “I think he’d be understanding.”