Sports

Red Wings rolling against Blackhawks with Howard outplaying Crawford in 2 straight victories

  • Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard (35) stops a shot by Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) during the second period of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Western Conference semifinal game in Detroit, Monday, May 20, 2013. Detroit won 3-2. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

    Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard (35) stops a shot by Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) during the second period of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Western Conference semifinal game in Detroit, Monday, May 20, 2013. Detroit won 3-2. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)  (The Associated Press)

  • Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard (35) stops a shot by Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) during the first period of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Western Conference semifinal game in Detroit, Monday, May 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

    Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard (35) stops a shot by Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews (19) during the first period of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Western Conference semifinal game in Detroit, Monday, May 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)  (The Associated Press)

  • Chicago Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews (19) reacts as he looks for the puck against Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard during the second period of Game 2 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Western Conference semifinals Saturday, May 18, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

    Chicago Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews (19) reacts as he looks for the puck against Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard during the second period of Game 2 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Western Conference semifinals Saturday, May 18, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)  (The Associated Press)

Jimmy Howard is a big reason the Detroit Red Wings are on a roll.

Howard has held top-seeded Chicago to only one goal in two straight games, lifting seventh-seeded Detroit to a 2-1 series lead. He is 4-1, and is averaging two goals against and 34-plus saves since the Red Wings trailed second-seeded Anaheim 3-2 in the first round.

Chicago's Corey Crawford has given up a combined seven goals over the last two games after allowing one goal in the first period of the series opener.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville says Crawford has been fine and doesn't seem to be inclined to put Ray Emery in net for Game 4 on Thursday night.

Crawford won five of his first six games in the playoffs and shut out Minnesota once.