Vinnie Hinostroza scored twice against his former team, Antti Raanta made 33 saves and the Arizona Coyotes spoiled Corey Crawford’s season debut, beating the sloppy Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 on Thursday night.
Clayton Keller finished with a goal and an assist as Arizona improved to 1-1 on a four-game road trip. The Coyotes entered with just four goals on the season.
The game was tied when Hinostroza got a pass from Oliver Ekman-Larsson and beat Crawford with a high wrist shot from the right circle 8:37 into the second period. It was Hinostroza’s first goal since Chicago traded the speedy forward to Arizona in July so it could shed Marian Hossa’s contract.
Keller made it 3-1 when he intercepted a pass by Chris Kunitz and scored on a breakaway in the third, and Hinostroza added an empty-netter with 2:20 left.
Crawford played his first game since Dec. 23, after missing most of last season because of a concussion. The two-time All-Star finished with 27 saves in a remarkably typical performance given his extended absence.
Erik Gustafsson scored Chicago’s only goal in its first game since Sunday. It was the first of three games in four nights for the Blackhawks.
The crowd of 21,210 cheered loudly when the 33-year-old Crawford was introduced with the starting lineup. He helped Chicago win the Stanley Cup in 2013 and 2015, and the Blackhawks tumbled into last place in the Central Division while he was out last season.
The Blackhawks also celebrated the return of Niklas Hjalmarsson for the first time since they traded the steady defenseman to Arizona in June 2017. He received a standing ovation after he was saluted with a highlight video during a break in the first period, and he appeared to be fighting back tears as he raised his left arm to acknowledge the response from the crowd.
Hjalmarsson had three of Arizona’s 27 blocked shots as the Coyotes kept much of the action away from Raanta, who made his NHL debut with Chicago in 2013.
Arizona jumped in front when Crouse and Clayton Keller skated in for a 2-on-1 in the first period. Keller played it over to Crouse, who one-timed the pass by Crawford at 11:43 for his first point of the season.
The Blackhawks tied it in the second when Jonathan Toews set up Gustafsson for a one-timer 6:34 into the period. It was Gustafsson’s first goal of the season.
NOTES: It was Chicago’s first regulation loss of the season. … Toews has at least one point in Chicago’s first six games. … Rookie forward Luke Johnson was assigned to the minors to make room for Crawford, leaving three goaltenders on Chicago’s roster. “With three in four nights, we’ll see how that plays out,” coach Joel Quenneville said.
Coyotes: Visit the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.
Blackhawks: Visit the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.
Source: The Associated Press