MONTREAL — Zack Smith scored two goals and the Chicago Blackhawks won their third straight game, 4-1 against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Wednesday.
Corey Crawford made 32 saves for the Blackhawks (22-20-6), who are 7-3-0 in their past 10 games. Crawford, a Montreal native, is 6-0-2 with two shutouts in eight games at Bell Centre.
“He loves playing in Montreal and he’s had so many good games here over the years,” said Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane, who had an assist for his 998th NHL point.
It was Chicago’s second win in as many nights; Robin Lehner made 20 saves in a 3-2 overtime victory at the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday. The Blackhawks are 8-1-0 in the second game of a back-to-back this season.
“We’ve been playing really well defensively the last bunch of game, and tonight was no different,” Crawford said. “We kept them to the outside most of the game and when me and Robin have to make saves on the angle and our guys are clearing rebounds, we’re going to have a good chance to win a lot of hockey games.”
Phillip Danault scored for Montreal (20-21-7), which had won consecutive games but is 2-8-1 in its past 11. Charlie Lindgren made 24 saves.
The Canadiens went 0-for-3 on the power play.
“We weren’t in the game at all, it’s as simple as that,” Montreal coach Claude Julien said. “They’re a team with good sticks; that was made clear before the game, but we weren’t there at all. We lost puck battles and made poor decisions. We didn’t deserve to win this game at all.”
Smith gave Chicago a 1-0 lead with a shorthanded goal at 5:42 of the first period after a miscommunication between Lindgren and Canadiens forward Tomas Tatar behind their net.
“I made a couple of fakes behind the net, and then kind nothing happened,” Lindgren said. “I obviously got the puck poked off my stick and they had an open net.”
Smith scored again at 8:32 of the first on a redirection of Slater Koekkoek‘s wrist shot from the right point to make it 2-0.
“If we score early and get the lead early, I think that we’re very hard to play against,” Smith said.
Danault scored 54 seconds into the second period with a wrist shot from the left circle after a pass from Ilya Kovalchuk to make it 2-1. Kovalchuk has five points (one goal, four assists) in six games since signing with Montreal on Jan. 3.
Alex DeBrincat one-timed a pass from Kane in the slot for a power-play goal at 11:27 of the second period to give the Blackhawks a 3-1 lead.
Jonathan Toews had a goal disallowed at 8:12 of the third after video review determined the Blackhawks center kicked the puck into the net.
Drake Caggiula stripped Canadiens forward Jordan Weal of the puck in the neutral zone and scored with a wrist shot from the left circle at 11:40 for the 4-1 final.
Blackhawks rookie forward Dominik Kubalik had a five-game goal streak and a six-game point streak end. Lindgren made a pad save on Kubalik’s shot after a pass from Kane on a 2-on-1 at 11:57 of the third.
They said it
“A great start, I thought, a big shorthanded goal, and then to get the 2-0 lead was big. But I thought we deserved it. We played hard, we were on our toes and putting pressure on them, [we] had a lot of good offensive zone shifts. A good response after they scored to make it 2-1. Sometimes they get a little push after that, but I thought we did a decent job of closing out the game. A good step for us to win it relatively under control. Obviously, [Crawford] made some big saves for us, but a pretty solid effort.” — Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton
“We have to be sharp on the power play. Our power play is a disaster right now. We’ve got to see, then talk and be simple. You know, we try to do those cute passes between the stick, skates, [but] it doesn’t work.” — Canadiens forward Ilya Kovalchuk
Need to know
Kane has 13 points (four goals, nine assists) during an eight-game point streak. … Smith has scored 11 shorthanded goals since the start of the 2016-17 season, which is tied with three others (Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins, Jean-Gabriel Pageau of the Ottawa Senators, and Michael Grabner of the Arizona Coyotes), for the most in the League over that span. … Canadiens center Max Domi was benched for the remainder of the second period after his roughing penalty at 10:52 led to DeBrincat’s power-play goal. … Montreal is 9-12-4 at home this season.
Blackhawks: At the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, CBC, SN1, SNO, SNW, SNP, NBCSCH, NHL.TV)
Canadiens: At the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, NBCSP, TSN2, RDS, NHL.TV)