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Ward makes 30 saves in win over Preds.

Byline: John Dietz jdietz@dailyherald.com

No one is about to argue that Cam Ward has a better resume than Blackhawks teammate Corey Crawford.

But the 34-year-old veteran certainly put together one of the most impressive performances -- both on and off the ice -- Tuesday night at the United Center.

First, Ward stopped 30 of 31 Nashville shots to lead the Hawks to a 2-1 victory over their division rivals. Moments later, he delivered some heartfelt words about Crawford, who is out indefinitely with a concussion.

"Our thoughts are obviously with Crow, and our hopes and prayers (are) that he's back healthy sooner than later," Ward said. "He's got a family and you're obviously very concerned. We want to continue to grow as a team with him on our minds and play for one another.

"But he's not going to be forgotten and I'm not Crawford out there. I'm just going to try to give this team a chance to win every time I get the opportunity."

Ward certainly did that against the Predators, turning away all 20 shots Nashville threw at him in the final 40 minutes.

The Predators led 1-0 after one period, but Gustav Forsling and Erik Gustafsson scored less than two minutes apart in the second period to give the Hawks (11-19-6) a lead they would not relinquish. Gustafsson now has 7 goals on the season, with 6 coming in his last 12 games.

This was the first time Ward allowed fewer than 2 goals since March 26, when he was still in Carolina. He gave up 5 after relieving Crawford in a 7-3 loss to San Jose on Sunday.

"I kind of voiced my displeasure after (that) game," Ward said, "and if I'm going to do that, then I need to respond and do my thing on the ice."

Said coach Jeremy Colliton: "Really nice for him to come in and play as well as he did. Thought he was really good. So happy for him."

* Marcus Kruger suffered a concussion after taking an inadvertent elbow to the head from Ryan Hartman in the second period. Kruger will not travel on the Hawks' upcoming road trip to Dallas and Colorado.

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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:Dec 19, 2018
Words:364
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