The Chicago Blackhawks survived a challenge to their lengthy win streak when Corey Crawford shined again this past week versus his hometown Montreal Canadiens.
The Blackhawks will try to match a franchise record with their 11th consecutive victory Sunday night in a quick rematch against the slumping Canadiens.
Crawford stopped 39 shots in Montreal on Thursday and all 17 in the third period to allow Chicago to hang on for a 2-1 victory. Jonathan Toews and Ryan Garbutt scored in the opening period.
Crawford, owner of a 1.49 goals-against average in his last six games, got to take a break Friday, and Patrick Kane's first regular-season hat trick provided Scott Darling with enough support for a 4-1 victory in Toronto.
Kane, who also had an assist, is now two goals shy of matching his career-high 30 from 2009-10. He has helped push the Blackhawks (30-13-4) to a one-point lead over Dallas in the Western Conference after they trailed by 13 on Dec. 27.
"We're happy with the way we're trending but we're not satisfied with where we're at," Kane said. "We still feel like we can improve. Our coaches feel like we can improve so there's plenty of things we can do better."
Crawford is 4-0-2 with a 1.32 GAA - his lowest versus any opponent - in six career matchups against Montreal (23-18-4). He has given up three goals on 98 shots while winning his last three.
"We've seen him progress here each and every year. He's having a great stretch for us right now," coach Joel Quenneville said. "He's one of the reasons why we've been winning."
Chicago is seeking to match its 11-game win streak from 2012-13 - the second of its three recent victorious Stanley Cup campaigns - and its season-best six-game home win streak Oct. 10-Nov. 2.
The Blackhawks will face a team that's 4-14-1 in its last 19 after a 4-3 overtime loss in St. Louis on Saturday. The Canadiens outshot the Blues 49-22 but couldn't hold on to a pair of one-goal leads in regulation, losing the final one with 5:25 remaining.
Montreal also went 1 for 7 on the power play in its ninth defeat in the last 11 road games. The Canadiens are 5 for 60 on the power play in their past 19 contests.
"We've got to be better. We've got to find ways to win. That's what it comes down to," forward Brendan Gallagher said. "We have to forget about this one, as much as it hurts. We have to move on and find a way to win (against the Blackhawks). It's not going to be easy. It was an emotional game. They found a way to win and we didn't. It (stinks)."
Chicago has won its past four games against Montreal and is 6-0-2 in its last eight. The Blackhawks have claimed five consecutive home matchups dating back to Oct. 18, 2006.
With Carey Price still out because of a leg injury, the Canadiens started Mike Condon in the most recent game against Chicago but are expected to turn to Ben Scrivens in this one.
Scrivens is 1-2-1 with a 3.19 GAA in four career games versus the Blackhawks but made 38 saves in a 2-1 shootout loss for Edmonton on March 6.
Toews has four goals and three assists in a five-game point streak against Montreal. Kane has two goals and four assists in his last seven matchups.
Max Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec - Montreal's two leading scorers - have never scored against the Blackhawks. Pacioretty has gone seven games and Plekanec 11 meetings.