Blackhawks' Trevor van Riemsdyk to play for USA at 2017 World Championship

Blackhawks' Trevor van Riemsdyk to play for USA at 2017 World Championship

Trevor van Riemsdyk has accepted Team USA's invitation to represent his country at the 2017 IIHF World Championship, the club announced Wednesday.

It will be his first career appearance in the tournament, which begins May 5 and runs until May 21 in Cologne, Germany and Paris, France.

Van Riemsdyk joins Danny DeKeyser, Noah Hanifin, Charlie McAvoy, Connor Murphy and Jacob Trouba as NHL defensemen to join the Americans' blue line group. The roster also includes Jimmy Howard, Dylan Larkin, Anders Lee and Brock Nelson, and sits at 22 players (12 forwards, seven defensemen and three goaltenders).

The 25-year-old Blackhawks defenseman set career highs with five goals, 11 assists, 16 points and a plus-17 rating in 58 games during his third professional season. He missed six weeks with an upper-body injury at the beginning of the year.

The Blackhawks' deep postseason runs and an opportunity to rest from them have prevented players from going in years past, but an early exit in the Stanley Cup playoffs gives them a chance to play for their countries — especially with the league already announcing its lack of participation in the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Marcus Kruger (Sweden) and Artemi Panarin (Russian) are the only two other Blackhawks participating in the tournament, having accepted their countries' offers. Patrick Kane recently declined after giving it serious consideration.

Corey Crawford stops 42 shots as Blackhawks top Wild

Corey Crawford stops 42 shots as Blackhawks top Wild

Corey Crawford has had his good and not-so-good outings the last couple of weeks. On Sunday, he was at his best.

Crawford stopped a season high 42 shots and Trevor van Riemsdyk's second-period goal proved to be the game winner as the Blackhawks beat the Minnesota Wild 4-2 on Sunday afternoon. The Blackhawks snapped a two-game losing streak and are now one point behind the Wild, whom they've beaten in the last three games, in the Western Conference.

Patrick Kane had a goal (his 30th of the season) and an assist), as did Artemi Panarin.

If you didn't see Sunday's game the score would be a bit misleading. The Blackhawks did a lot with a little, getting those four goals on 22 shots. Credit their offense for an incredibly fast start. Kane scored just 51 seconds into the game and Panarin's 22nd goal of the season a few minutes later gave the Blackhawks a 2-0 lead at 4:38. More surprising is Wild coach Bruce Boudreau pulled Devan Dubnyk after that second goal (the Blackhawks had just two shots at that point). Boudreau told the media following the game that he didn't think Dubnyk was following the puck well.

Boudreau may not have meant to spark the Wild but it looked like he did. From that point on the Wild were relentless, firing 44 shots, many of good quality, on Crawford. Sharp from the start, Crawford kept the Blackhawks from losing their lead.

"I think that was a big game for us," Crawford said. "After two losses, coming back against one of the best teams in the league, some big points for us there."

Coach Joel Quenneville said Crawford was, "terrific."

"Fortunate start there, couple of quick goals. We slowed down as the game progressed there and Crow made some great saves, big saves," Quenneville said. "The second period, we were fortunate to come ahead there."

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Indeed, the Wild had 20 of their 44 shots in that second period and came up with nothing thanks to Crawford. Meanwhile a Wild gaffe gave the Blackhawks, up 2-1 to start the second, a 3-1 lead by the end of it. Ryan White was going to be called for a tripping penalty on Jordin Tootoo. White stopped playing but the whistle hadn't blown, Marcus Kruger grabbed the puck and passed to van Riemsdyk, who gave the Blackhawks a 3-1 lead.

"I was the beneficiary of two great plays, Toots taking the guy with him and Krugs coming up and laying it to me on the back door," said van Riemsdyk, who also scored against Detroit on Friday. "It would've been pretty hard to miss that so I just wanted to guide it in. Didn't want to mess it up."

Marian Hossa scored his 22nd of the season, a breakaway spurred by a Duncan Keith pass, late in the third period.

The Blackhawks overall did not play their best game of the season. They took advantage of a good goaltender having a tough start. They took advantage of a mistake in the second period. And they rode Crawford, who saved his best of the season for one of the biggest games of the season.

"Huge game by Crow tonight, but I think overall we want to be better as a team and I think we have 14 games left to make sure that happens and feel good about ourselves going into the playoffs," Kane said. "We'll see what happens now. I know they've got a game in hand on us, but we're right there. So, we'll see."

Quick Hits from Blackhawks-Red Wings: Lacking jump

Quick Hits from Blackhawks-Red Wings: Lacking jump

DETROIT – Getting the early lead was one thing. Following it up was another, and the Blackhawks couldn’t do that against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night.

Playing without Johnny Oduya and Niklas Hjalmarsson didn’t help – coach Joel Quenneville didn’t want to tax the two players, both coming back from injuries, with three games in four days. But the Blackhawks’ overall game just wasn’t there.

Anyway, it’s a pretty quick turnaround. So let’s get to the notables.

What Worked: The Red Wings’ response after Justin Abdelkader’s hit. Oh, the Blackhawks’ immediate response was fine. Abdelkader hit Brian Campbell high and late, and Trevor van Riemsdyk went after Abdelkader. But it was the Red Wings who capitalized following that fracas, scoring twice in the final 3:35 of the first period, turning the Blackhawks’ early 1-0 lead into a 2-1 deficit.

What Didn’t Work: The Blackhawks’ overall game. It’s been a while since we’ve said this but the Blackhawks were flat. As Patrick Kane said, it was surprising that the Blackhawks’ last game at Joe Louis Arena didn’t draw the expected enthusiasm level. Hey, this rivalry isn’t what it used to be thanks to realignment, and perhaps coming off the back to back – or even looking ahead to Sunday – factored into Friday’s bad game.

Star of the game: Tomas Tatar. Net-front presence is big, and Tatar was supplying it all night. When he wasn’t providing a screen on Andreas Athanasiou’s late-first period goal, Tatar was assisting or scoring his own. He finished with two goals and an assist, to give Detroit their last victory over the Blackhawks at Joe Louis Arena.

He Said It: “Yeah, nice to see Riems jump in there. I didn’t see the hit but it must’ve been pretty bad for Riemer to jump in. Good to see him stick up for his teammate.” — Corey Crawford on van Riemsdyk’s reaction to the hit on Campbell

By the Numbers:

4 – Goals allowed by the Blackhawks on Friday, the most they’ve allowed since Jan. 26 (vs. Winnipeg).

900 – Career regular-season games for Duncan Keith.

400 – Career regular-season games for Andrew Desjardins, who was back in the lineup on Friday.

1,127 – Career points for Marian Hossa following his assist on van Riemsdyk’s second-period goal. Hossa is now 55th all-time in NHL history in points.