CHICAGO — When Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford was placed on injured reserve with an upper-body injury last month, Anton Forsberg figured he would finally get a chance to experience being an NHL starter.
But after he surrendered five goals against Vancouver on Dec. 28, Forsberg was quickly replaced by 32-year-old rookie Jeff Glass. Forsberg could understand the change after his rough performance against the Canucks, but inside, he wondered if he had blown his chance.
But after Glass gave up five goals Friday in a 5-4 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights, Forsberg will get another chance Sunday when the Edmonton Oilers visit the Blackhawks.
The Blackhawks (19-15-6) will be looking for their second victory over the Oilers in 10 days after recording a 4-3 overtime victory in Edmonton on Dec. 29.
Forsberg, meanwhile, will be looking for a bit of redemption from his last start while Crawford remains out indefinitely. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville told reporters Saturday that while Crawford’s return date remains unknown, he does expect his No. 1 goalie to play again this season.
Forsberg plans to make the most of his opportunity Sunday, knowing that Glass is eager to continue in net while Crawford remains out.
“I gave up five goals (in Vancouver),” Forsberg told the Chicago Sun-Times. “Letting in five goals is never fun. Then to sit around for a couple games and just practice, it’s tough sometimes. (Glass) played really well, and you always play the hot goalie. But really, it’s all up to you. If he’s playing well, I’ve got to play better. It’s as simple as that.”
Forsberg will attempt to get Chicago moving back in the right direction following Friday’s loss, when the Blackhawks blew a third-period lead. But Forsberg will also attempt to get himself on track in a season in which he is 1-5-3 in nine starts with a .902 save percentage.
“I don’t think it’s different from any other game,” Forsberg told the Sun-Times. “I want to get wins and I want to play well. It doesn’t matter if Corey’s here or (Glass) is here — I want to play. And I’ve got to play good to be able to get to play. In that way, there’s no difference.”
Edmonton, meanwhile, will attempt to find its footing after a lopsided 5-1 loss to the Dallas Stars on Saturday. The Oilers (18-21-3) fell into a 3-0 hole early and could never get into any sort of rhythm as they began a five-game road trip with a disappointing performance.
A short turnaround Sunday in Chicago won’t give the Oilers much chance to think about Saturday’s lackluster showing. Cam Talbot gave up four goals before Edmonton turned to newly acquired goalie Al Montoya.
Montoya hadn’t played since Nov. 4 after sustaining a concussion. He stopped 13 of the 14 shots he faced Saturday.
“For myself, it was fun to be playing hockey again,” Montoya told NHL.com. “It was a long road back. I’m just happy to be back.”
The Oilers, who had hoped to make up room in the wild-card chase, instead paid the price for giving up too much too soon.
“We just got beat by a good team that worked hard,” Oilers captain Connor McDavid told NHL.com. “The first period they came out strong and made their plays. I thought the work ethic was there. Just a couple mental mistakes that ended in the back of the net.”
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