Turco to make third straight start vs. Sharks

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Turco to make third straight start vs. Sharks

Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010
2:57 PM

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

Marty Turco will get his third consecutive start when the Chicago Blackhawks host the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night.

The veteran goaltender got back into net when Corey Crawford fell ill during the Christmas break but hes made the most of it. He was big early against Columbus en route to the Blackhawks 4-1 victory on Sunday and stopped 40 of 43 against St. Louis on Tuesday.

Turcs coming off an amazing game last night, coach Joel Quenneville said on Wednesday morning. Its a good position to be in to have to make tough decisions about our goaltending. For a long stretch its has been very positive.

Its good for Turco, too, whose confidence and game had suffered through November and early December. Crawford earned the starting job and held onto it with his stellar play. Turcos victory on Sunday was his first since Nov. 17 against Edmonton.

There were saves out there that made me feel good about the things that were working on, Turco said after Tuesdays game in St. Louis.

Crawford, meanwhile, said hes starting to feel better from an illness that sapped him over the holidays. Quenneville doesnt expect Crawford to miss a beat once he returns.

Consistency has been part of his game, he said. When he gets back to the net hell be fine.

More updates

Troy Brouwer and Niklas Hjalmarsson did not practice with the team on Wednesday morning, taking a maintenance day. Quenneville said both will be ready to play San Jose on Thursday.

Both were missing for about 10 minutes during the second period on Tuesday night -- Brouwer was hobbled after blocking a puck off his left leg, Hjalmarsson left for an unknown reason but both finished the game.

Meanwhile, Fernando Pisani is still out sick; Quenneville said he is doubtful for Thursdays game.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

Quick Hits from Blackhawks-Stars: Another slow start but better finish

Quick Hits from Blackhawks-Stars: Another slow start but better finish

It wasn't pretty, but the Blackhawks found a way to pick up another two points and improved to 6-0-1 over their last seven games, and 18-3-1 over their last 22.

With Minnesota's loss to Philadelphia, the Blackhawks have taken an eight-point lead for first in the Central Division and are only two points away from the Washington Capitals for home-ice advantage throughout the entire Stanley Cup playoffs.

Let's take a look at Quick Hits from the 3-2 shootout victory over the Dallas Stars on Thursday night:

What Worked: The finish and shootout. While the Blackhawks scored the game's first goal, it was another slow start by a team that has had a few of those over the last several outings and has preached working on turning in more of a complete effort. They recorded only 14 shots on goal in the first two periods, and it took more than six minutes after Patrick Kane's goal to record their next one.

But they finished on a positive note yet again, and went 2-for-3 in the shootout thanks to Kane and Artemi Panarin, who potted the game winner. Kane said after the game that he tried his move on Scott Darling during morning skate and it worked. So he went with it tonight in an effort to snap a mini shootout drought and he did.

What Didn't Work: Controlling the puck. The Blackhawks seemingly have the puck more than their opponent does almost every game, but it doesn't reflect in the shot department because they often look for the perfect pass or shot and fail to record one at all. They had 50 shot attempts with 26 of them on goal compared to the Stars' 64 attempts with 44 on goal. They know they must get better at that.

Star of the game: Corey Crawford. After allowing four goals on only 10 shots in Tuesday's overtime loss to Vancouver, the Blackhawks netminder bounced back in a huge way. He matched a season-high with 42 saves, and recorded his 30th win of the season.

He Said It: "He played amazing tonight. Reason we won the game. Hats off to him, he's done that a lot this year. For a goalie it's probably tough to show up every night, even the goals he let in last game you can't put all the blame on him, but he was outstanding tonight." — Kane on Crawford's performance

By the Numbers:

167 — Niklas Hjalmarsson blocked one shot in the win, and it was enough to set a new career high in that department, previously established during the 2010-11 campaign (166).

15 — Trevor van Riemsyk assisted on Marian Hossa's goal in the third period, giving him a career-high 15 points on the season in 50 games. He had 14 points in 82 games last year. He also extended his point streak to three games.

6 — With the victory, Crawford has earned at least 30 wins in six of his seven NHL seasons as a full-time starter. The only time he didn't reach that mark was during the lockout-shortened year in 2012-13 when he went 19-5-5.

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