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Crawford, Shaw stretch Blackhawks' streak to 18

Source : AP
Last Updated: Mon, Feb 25, 2013 03:30 hrs

Corey Crawford made 28 saves, and Andrew Shaw scored the only goal as the Chicago Blackhawks stretched their NHL-record, season-opening point streak to 18 games with a 1-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday night.

Crawford earned his seventh NHL shutout and second this season in his first start since Feb. 12. He outdueled Columbus' Steve Mason, who stopped 26 shots.

Shaw provided all the offense in the second period for Blackhawks (15-0-3), who haven't lost in regulation time this season and have earned 33 of 36 possible points. Chicago has won nine straight against Columbus, dating to Feb. 18, 2011.

The Blackhawks set the league record with at least one point in the first 17 games of a season when they beat San Jose 2-1 on Friday — topping the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks, who started 12-0-4.

Crawford had been sidelined after he sustained an upper-body injury in a 3-2 shootout loss to Anaheim on Feb. 12. Ray Emery started and won four games in his absence.

Crawford returned to the lineup as Emery's backup on Friday.

The 18-game point streak is also a team record for the Blackhawks, who have only lost in shootouts this season.

The Blue Jackets (5-12-2), who have an NHL-low 12 points, went 0-for-5 on the power play. Mason kept the game close.

The Blackhawks dominated territorially and in puck possession through the first two periods, but only managed to get one shot past the Blue Jackets goalie.

Both teams had a handful of scoring chances in the first period. Mason made a point-blank pad save on Marian Hossa with 8:30 left, and Crawford stopped Derick Brassard from the slot two minutes later.

Mason denied Hossa on a breakaway 5:30 into the second after Hossa stole the puck from James Wisniewski at the Columbus blue line.

The Blue Jackets failed to convert several close-in attempts during a power-play late in the second, including when Vinny Prospal's shot hit the crossbar to cap a breakaway.

Shaw finally broke through with 1:27 left in the second from the low edge of the left circle. He took Bryan Bickell's backhanded feed from the back boards and ripped a high one-timed shot that beat Mason high on the stick side.

Mason made a point-blank pad save on Patrick Kane midway through the third period after Kane made a spectacular spin move and cut across the crease alone.

NOTES: The Ducks went on to win the Stanley Cup in 2007. . Blackhawks C Dave Bolland missed the game with an undisclosed upper-body injury. ... The Blue Jackets placed D Jack Johnson (upper-body), on the injured list on Sunday. C Brandon Dubinsky (lower body) and C Artem Anisimov (upper body) were also out.



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