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Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford returns to ice for first time since injury

Paul Skrbina, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Hockey

CALGARY, Alberta -- Goaltender Corey Crawford took another step toward a potential return to the Blackhawks on Saturday when he took the ice for the first time since he was put on injured reserve Dec. 27 with an upper-body injury.

Crawford skated in Chicago while the team was in Canada preparing to face the Flames on Saturday night, coach Joel Quenneville said.

Quenneville said he hadn't received a report on how Crawford's skate went but said he was encouraged Crawford would be on the ice again Sunday.

"For sure," Quenneville said. "We'll see more (Sunday). We'll see how he does."

Crawford hasn't played since Dec. 23, when he was pulled after allowing three goals on seven shots during a loss against the Devils.

Quenneville has said repeatedly that he was optimistic Crawford would be back this season.

"That's our expectation and hope," Quenneville said in late January. "We expect him to be fine."

The team's decision not to place Crawford on long-term injured reserve backed up that belief.

 

Including Saturday, the 33-year-old will have missed the team's last 17 games. The Hawks were 7-7-2 without him going into Saturday's game.

Crawford is 16-9-2 with a .929 save percentage and 2.27 goals-against average this season, the latter two numbers among the league's leaders.

In mid-January, Hawks captain Jonathan Toews expressed confidence in backups Anton Forsberg and Jeff Glass and said the team was rooting for Crawford to fully recover.

"He's one of those guys that we know we can rely upon as a person, as a teammate," Toews said. "He'll do what he can to get himself better so he can get back to playing and get back and help our team when he knows how to."

(c)2018 Chicago Tribune

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