Corey Crawford was nothing short of sensational, as he and the Chicago Blackhawks stole Game Four, 3–1, to stave off elimination against the Vegas Golden Knights. For a majority of the night, there was one-way traffic toward the Chicago end of the ice, and Crawford steered aside 46 shots to trim the series to 3–1 and allow the Blackhawks to live to fight another day.
Game Four began with the Knights returning to Robin Lehner between the pipes, while center Paul Statsny missed his second game in a row, ruled “unfit to play.” Blackhawks head coach Jeremy Colliton returned to the Brandon Saad-Jonathan Toews-Patrick Kane combination to start the game in the hopes of igniting his offense. The Hawks would later shift Kane back to a line with Kirby Dach and Drake Caggiula.
Just over four minutes into the first, Caggiula got the Hawks on the board. Olli Maatta joined the rush with Kane, and from behind the net, found Caggiula open in front of the cage. Caggiula wasted no time, smacking it low and hard behind Lehner for a 1–0 Chicago lead.
— The Rink – Chicago (@TheRinkChi) August 16, 2020
The Knights kept pushing and carried the play throughout the period. With 6:20 on the clock, the Hawks caught a break and extended their lead when Matthew Highmore threw the puck to the net from a near impossible angle. The puck banked off of Lehner’s mask and into the back of the cage, doubling the gap to 2–0.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) August 16, 2020
But, just 18 seconds later, Vegas got that goal right back on a blast from the point, off the stick of Shea Theodore, making it 2–1.
— Eric (@Kingsgifs) August 16, 2020
In the second frame, the Vegas onslaught continued, as did Crawford’s brilliance in net. Chicago killed off a Adam Boqvist holding penalty and a Saad slash, while Crawford kicked away 16 shots. The Hawks were unsuccessful in their one power play attempt in the second and rarely challenged Lehner, registering a mere seven shots on net.
— Brandon Cain (@brandonmcain) August 17, 2020
The third period provided more of the same. The Hawks failed to convert yet again on a power play, finishing 0–3 on the night with the man advantage. Crawford fended off a furious final push from the Knights, who tested him in the final minute and a half with an extra attacker. After missing two grade-A chances earlier in the period, Alex DeBrincat finished off the game with an empty-net goal with 10 seconds remaining to push the score to 3–1. Crawford finished his sublime performance with 48 saves.
NBC rewarding Corey Crawford for his incredible Game 4 performance pic.twitter.com/TChAQLmUG8
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) August 17, 2020
The Blackhawks will need to replicate this gutty performance should they wish to keep the series going. Game Five will be Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. CDT in Edmonton.