CHICAGO (AP) Charlie Lindgren kept the Montreal Canadiens in the game until they finally solved Corey Crawford.
Not bad for a 23-year-old goaltender making his first appearance of the season.
Lindgren had 38 saves in his first career shutout, helping the Canadiens beat Crawford and the Chicago Blackhawks 2-0 on Sunday night.
”We needed a solid performance from Charlie and he gave us that,” coach Claude Julien said.
With Carey Price sidelined by a minor lower-body injury and Al Montoya coming off a 19-save performance Saturday night in a 5-4 overtime win at Winnipeg, Julien turned to Lindgren for Montreal’s third game in four nights. The Lakeville, Minnesota, native responded with Montreal’s first shutout while improving to 4-0 in four career NHL starts.
Lindgren was promoted from Laval of the American Hockey League on Friday.
”I think down there the last four games or so I was really starting to kind of get into a groove and playing really good,” he said. ”I came up here and definitely want to make the most of my opportunity.”
Lindgren and Crawford were locked up in a scoreless duel before Jonathan Drouin skated through the slot and shot the puck into the left side of the net at 1:54 of the third. Drouin’s third goal of the season stopped Crawford’s scoreless streak at 173 minutes, 9 seconds.
Defenseman Joe Morrow added his third career goal at 7:45, helping Montreal to its fourth win in five games. Morrow blasted a slap shot by a screened Crawford for his first goal since Oct. 27, 2015, for Boston against Arizona.
”We played solid,” Montreal forward Andrew Shaw said. ”We didn’t give up too many prime scoring chances, but when we did Charlie was there.”
Coming off consecutive shutouts against Philadelphia and Minnesota, Crawford finished with 33 stops in his first career regulation loss against his hometown team. He was 8-0-2 with a 1.49 goals-against average in 10 games against Montreal.
The Blackhawks have scored just 11 goals in their last six games.
”We know what we have behind us,” Chicago forward Ryan Hartman said. ”Crow’s been playing great for us. He’s kept us in some games, like in Minnesota. Even versus Philly too. We need to generate some offense for him.”
Lindgren got over for a great blocker save on Jonathan Toews with 1:40 left in the first. Toews banged a shot off the left post early in the second, and Lindgren gloved another solid opportunity for Chicago’s captain with about seven minutes left in the third.
Lindgren also robbed Richard Panik with 15 seconds left.
”Give him credit,” Blackhawk star Patrick Kane said. ”I think he played well. Sometimes you can probably make better shots. He was kinda seeing the puck through some traffic, so give him credit.”
The Blackhawks also went 0 for 3 on the power play after scoring with the man advantage in each of their previous two games, including Saturday night’s 2-0 victory at Minnesota.
NOTES: Canadiens F Phillip Danault skated off gingerly after blocking Michal Kempny’s shot with about four minutes left in the third, but returned to the game. … Chicago F Artem Anisimov had scored in four straight games. … Blackhawks D Gustav Forsling missed his third straight game with an upper-body injury. He could return Thursday night at Philadelphia. ”He’s very close,” Quenneville said. ”I think we give him four more days is what we’re looking at.” … Canadiens F Jacob De La Rose was inserted into the lineup in place of Charles Hudon, who was sidelined by an upper-body injury. It was De La Rose’s first game since Oct. 20. … The Blackhawks wore camouflage-style jerseys for warmups that will be autographed and auctioned off online to benefit USO of Illinois.
Canadiens: Begin a six-game homestand on Tuesday night against Vegas.
Blackhawks: Visit Philadelphia on Thursday night.
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