Looking to snap five-game skid, Blackhawks welcome back Crawford

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Some good news for the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday when the team announced that starting goaltender Corey Crawford has been activated from injured reserve and is ready to get back in the crease.

Crawford has been sidelined since December 1 with a lower body injury, forcing him out of action for each of the past three games. The Blackhawks have lost all three of those games (giving up 12 goals in the process, including six on Wednesday night in Washington) to extend their current losing streak to five games.

Prior to being sidelined Crawford had been having an outstanding season for the Blackhawks with a .930 save percentage that is among the best in the NHL. His performance, as well as the declining performance of the team around him, especially when it comes to their defensive play, has made him one of the team’s most important and valuable players.

The Blackhawks are just 1-4-3 in the eight games started by backup Anton Forsberg this season.

They are 11-7-2 with Crawford in net.

The schedule would seem to ease up a bit for them over the next few games with home games against the Buffalo Sabres (Friday), Arizona Coyotes (Sunday), and the Florida Panthers (Tuesday). Those three teams are all among the bottom-five in total points so far this season.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.