After one of their worst defensive performances of the season, the Chicago Blackhawks put up a good effort against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night, allowing just 25 shots in a 3-1 win.
Corey Crawford was able to stop 24 of those shots as he cruised to his second straight victory in net, and the Blackhawks bounced back nicely from a drubbing at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday.
Here are Tuesday’s Three Stars:
Third Star: Erik Gustafsson
A game after committing several bad turnovers and having a rough night on the ice, Gustafsson came back nicely in this one, registering an assist and leading all blue liners with four shots on goal in the Blackhawks’ victory.
Gustafsson is a key member of the Blackhawks with Gustav Forsling and Connor Murphy still out of the mix, and the team will need more consistent play from him in the coming weeks.
Second Star: Patrick Kane
Kane continued his hot start to the season, scoring yet another goal and racking up five shots on goal in the offensive push.
The Blackhawks changed up their second line for the game, linking up Kane with Brandon Saad and Artem Anisimov, and things seemed to work out well for the talented winger, as he took advantage of the net-front presence of his linemates and used the created space to full advantage.
First Star: Brandon Saad
It’s been a rough season for Saad, between rumors of his imminent benching and his demotion to the team’s fourth line. Tuesday was a coming out party of sorts for Saad, as he scored his first and second goals of the season and racked up a team-high seven shots on goal.
If there is one player who needs to step up his game in order to take the Blackhawks to the next level, it’s Saad. He has the potential to be a physical force on the ice, winning puck battles and getting to the front of the net for rebound opportunities, and Tuesday was the first time this season he has really lived up to those expectations.