A loss on Tuesday night probably would have been a devastating blow to the Chicago Blackhawks’ already slim playoff chances.
But thanks to a stellar 42-save effort from backup goalie Anton Forsberg they were able to escape Nashville with a 2-1 win to keep their playoff hopes alive.
The win helps them keep pace with the Minnesota Wild in the quest for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference, and keeps them within four point of that spot with still four teams ahead of them.
Still a big mountain, but Tuesday was a much-needed step in the process.
It was a night for the Blackhawks’ depth as David Kampf and Vinnie Hinostraza provided the offense, while Forsberg came through on a night where he was heavily tested.
With starting goalie Corey Crawford still sidelined and no date for his potential return in sight, the Blackhawks are going to probably need this level of goaltending — or close to it — the rest of the way to have a chance to get back into the playoffs as the defense continues to bleed shots against.
But right now if you’re the Blackhawks style points don’t really matter, nor does it matter who provides the offense. The bottom line is they need to start stacking wins on top of each other and collecting as many points as possible. Tuesday’s win was a good start as it gives them consecutive wins for just the second time since early December, and comes after they had lost five of their previous six games.