Corey Crawford is fine after coming out of Thursday night’s game against the St. Louis Blues, but Ray Emery will get the start tonight when the Blackhawks host the Columbus Blue Jackets at the United Center.
Crawford left under some duress at the end of the first period of the Blackhawks’ 3-0 victory over the Blues and did not return. But he skated this morning, and coach Joel Quenneville said Crawford will back up Emery tonight. Asked if Crawford was ill last night, or tweaked something, Quenneville just said, “he got through it. He didn’t seem too bad after the game and he was fine this morning.”
Emery came in for relief Thursday and stopped all 15 shots he faced. With the Blackhawks’ busy schedule, Emery was slated to get the start tonight, anyway, so Quenneville said they just stuck to that plan.
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“Both could go today if they had to,” Quenneville said. “The decision making going into these three games in 3 ½ days, it was kind of the plan to have Corey (Thursday) night, Ray tonight and go from there.”
Meanwhile, Dave Bolland, who has been out with an upper-body injury since last Friday, skated this morning. Quenneville said Bolland “skated really well today, did a nice job,” but the center is out for tonight.
The Blue Jackets, who were already missing several injured players, lost another one this morning. Defenseman John Moore, a Winnetka native, left the ice during the team’s morning skate according to the Columbus Dispatch. Moore is out tonight. Defenseman Dalton Prout is en route to Chicago from the team’s affiliate in Springfield.
Still, Columbus played tough in the Blackhawks’ 1-0 victory over them on Sunday. Quenneville said it’s key that the Blackhawks don’t get fancy.
“They give everybody a good game,” he said. “We saw them twice; it’s a hard-working team. Let’s not try to be creative against them. Putting the puck in the right areas, winning puck battles and getting pucks to the net will enhance our team game. It’s the same approach as last night in st. Louis. If we try to get out of that, it plays into their favor.”
Steve Montador (concussion) and Rostislav Olesz (knee) skated this morning. But neither has been cleared to play yet.