Hawks’ Raanta posts 31-save shutout over Leafs

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With Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford back from a lower-body injury, he’s likely to get the bulk of Chicago’s starts going forward, but Antti Raanta made his case for more playing time with his 31-save shutout tonight in a 4-0 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It was Raanta’s second shutout of the season and gives him an impressive 1.76 GAA and .945 save percentage through eight games.

Defenseman David Rundblad, 24, scored his second goal in 70 career contests and it proved to be the game-winner.

Patrick Kane helped give Raanta a fair amount of breathing room with a goal and two assists on Sunday. Patrick Sharp had three assists in his first multi-point night since returning from a knee injury.

Toronto was playing in its third game in four days and coming off of a 7-4 loss to Philadelphia Saturday night. The Maple Leafs also suffered a 4-1 loss to Carolina in the first game of this stretch, which reduces them to 19-12-3 as they fight to hold onto their Wild Card spot.

Chicago improved to 23-9-2 and now have a three-point edge on St. Louis in the battle for the Central Division title.