CHICAGO – The Chicago Blackhawks lost No. 1 goalie Corey Crawford to a lower-body injury three weeks ago, forcing the Stanley Cup champions to hand the net over to an untested rookie from Finland.
The Blackhawks had no idea what they had in Antti Raanta. They hoped for the best, and they got it.
Raanta made 26 saves in his first NHL shutout, Brandon Saad scored in the first period, and Chicago beat Los Angeles 1-0 on Monday night, sending the Kings to their first three-game losing streak in nearly a year.
“There was only one goal for us, so I knew if we wanted to win the game, I had to stop all the pucks,” Raanta said. “I thought about it maybe the last two or three minutes.”
With Crawford nearing a return, Raanta improved to 10-1-3 while bouncing back from one of his worst performances. He allowed two late goals in Chicago’s 6-5 shootout loss at St. Louis on Saturday.
Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville was non-committal when asked about the team’s goalies after Crawford returns. But it is hard to imagine Raanta returning to the minors after the impressive start to this NHL career.
“It’s a nice situation,” Quenneville said. “He really, really helped solidify something that looked a little bit concerning at that time.”
Saad scored his sixth goal in his last 11 games. Chicago, which leads the NHL with 158 goals, played its lowest-scoring game since a 2-1 shootout win at Dallas on Nov. 29.
Los Angeles’ Martin Jones made 29 saves in his second straight loss after beginning his career with eight consecutive wins, tying the NHL record.
The Kings, who have yielded a league-low 80 goals, played a tough, physical game after losses to Dallas and Nashville. But they are on their first three-game slide since dropping the opening three games of last season in January.
“We had our chances. They had some chances,” Kings center Mike Richards said. “We just didn’t capitalize on our looks at the net.”
Predators 6, Red Wings 4
In Nashville, Colin Wilson had two goals and an assist, and Mike Fisher scored a goal and helped set up two others.
Fisher has three goals and three assists in Nashville’s past two games. Craig Smith, Nick Spaling, and Roman Josi also scored.
Justin Abdelkader, Pavel Datsyuk, Drew Miller, and Patrick Eaves scored for the Red Wings, who have lost two of three.
Senators 3, Capitals 1
In Ottawa, Kyle Turris’ goal helped the Senators beat Washington and earn their first winning streak in 51 days. The Senators have won three straight at home for the first time this season.
Mika Zibanejad and Clarke MacArthur, with an empty-net goal, also scored for Ottawa (17-18-7). Craig Anderson stopped 34 shots. He made 14 saves in the second period and 11 more in the third.
Flyers 4, Canucks 3 (SO)
In Vancouver, Vinny Lecavalier scored the only goal in the shootout for Philadelphia, which rallied to tie the game in the final minute of regulation.
The Flyers, who improved to 2-0 on their Western road trip, beat Edmonton in a shootout on Saturday.
Lecavalier scored on Philadelphia’s first shootout attempt, and Steve Mason stopped all three shooters as the Flyers (19-16-4) earned their third straight win and sixth in eight games. Mason made 41 saves through overtime.
Mark Streit, Claude Giroux and Brayden Schenn also scored in regulation for Philadelphia. Giroux, who added an assist, has a nine-game point streak.