MONTREAL -- With his stick having been jarred out of his hands and lying of no use to him in the corner, Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford only looked helpless when the Canadiens raced short-handed into the offensive zone.
Crawford made an initial stop on a rather weak Brandon Prust second-period breakaway attempt but it was the save on the rebound that left the Bell Centre crowd stunned and the Hawks still in their game
Saturday night against the Canadiens.
While sprawled across the crease, Crawford miraculously flashed his left skate to get a piece of a Lars Eller shot toward the gaping net that immediately became the Hawks' save of the season and it will be tough to top the rest of the way. That it came in a game where every save mattered in a thrilling Original Six showdown made Crawford's effort that much more important.
But indicative of the way things have gone lately for the Hawks, Crawford's stop only helped the Hawks secure one point as their offense continued to struggle during a 2-1 overtime loss to the Canadiens.
"It's frustrating," Crawford said after the Hawks rallied from a third-period deficit to tie it before coming up short in the end. "We expect to win, especially after coming back and tying it. We had a couple of chances after that. Everyone in this room thinks we could have grabbed another point."
Carey Price, one of three goalies selected to represent Team Canada in the Winter Olympics instead of Montreal native Crawford, won the battle between the pipes with 19 saves to Crawford's 36.
Andrei Markov scored both goals for the Canadiens -- including the winner 1 minute, 28 seconds into overtime -- to hand the Hawks their fourth defeat in their last five games. Marian Hossa tied the game midway through the third but that was all the offense the Hawks could muster as they failed to score more than two goals for the fifth time in their last six games.
"This is a type of stretch we just have to battle through," Hossa said. "We know the whole season won't be easy. We're not going to score five (or) six goals those games so we just sometimes have to grind and battle through games like this."
After a scoreless first, Markov opened the scoring with a shot from the top of the left circle that sailed past a screened Crawford. Later in the second, Crawford pulled off the highlight-reel save that left the crowd of 21,273 slack-jawed.
"I don't know if I want to be doing that every time," Crawford said. "I just kicked my leg out and luckily (the puck) hit it."
Markov later ended the entertaining contest with a blast from the left circle.
"Five games in a row we're playing from behind," Quenneville said. "We got ourselves back even in the third, which is OK, but I think we're a better team (playing) from ahead."
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