Blackhawks beat the Blues to extend streak to 20

It took just 12 seconds for the Blackhawks to show how good they are this season.

That's how long it took for Jonathan Toews to put in the first goal of the game, with assists from Brandon Saad and Marian Hossa.

The Blackhawks would go on to notch their third shut out of the season, taking the win 3-0 in St. Louis. In an unusual circumstance, Chicago goalie Corey Crawford played just one period - the first - before Ray Emery took the net for the rest of the game. As Crawford was on the ice for the GWG, he is credited with the win; but neither goalie was credited with a shut out.

Crawford is reported to have an "upper body injury" that is "day to day" and it is reportedly not related to his recent injury which saw him miss a couple games. He will travel home with the team tonight.

Blues captain David Backes also left the game for part of the second period after colliding with Blackhawks forward Brandon Saad. It was reported on the Blues site after the game that Backes took the standard protocol concussion testing as a precaution.

The other two goals for the Blackhawks were scored by Andrew Shaw and Jonathan Toews, both early in the third.

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said after the game that he felt the 2-0 lead "took the wind out of our sails."

Of particular note for the night was the Blues overall disciplined play; they only took two penalties to the Blackhawks' five. St. Louis has one of the best penalty plays in the league but could not convert any of their opportunities. The Blackhawks are now at 89.3% on the PK, second in the NHL after Boston.

The Blues had 21 shots on goal; Alex Pietrangelo led the team with four.

Jaroslav Halak had his first regulation loss of the 2013 season, and his first career regulation loss against the Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks have not lost in regulation since March 25, 2012, which extends their overall "regular season games without a regulation loss" to 26.

The Blackhawks return to Chicago to face the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night at the United Center.

RECAP

Final score: Blackhawks 3, Blues 0

CHI goals: Toews, Shaw, Toews

Three stars:
1) Jonathan Toews
2) Ray Emery
3) Duncan Keith

Winning goalie: Corey Crawford (credited with W) / Ray Emery, both 1.000 sv% (neither credited w/SO)
Losing goalie: Jaroslav Halak, 0.870 / 3 GAA

Next games: Friday 3/1 7:30pm CST vs Columbus on NHLN & CSN-Chicago; Sunday 3/3 11:30am CST vs Detroit on NBC & NNHL-CA

Follow our Blackhawks writers at @TCLBlackhawks; you can follow me at @HockeyBroad