Chicago Blackhawks lose Corey Crawford for three weeks

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Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford will sit out three weeks with a groin injury, coach Joel Quenneville confirmed.

It left the Stanley Cup holders with the untested Antti Raanta to start Tuesday's game against the Dallas Stars in which he made 27 saves, helping the Blackhawks to a 6-2 victory.

But despite Raanta's good performance, there is a worry that Crawford's absence will cost the Blackhawks over a busy Christmas schedule.

Crawford was forced off in the first quarter of the 6-2 win against Florida last week with a groin injury and Quenneville confirmed he is likely to miss up to three weeks.

The Blackhawks coach did, however, downplay the seriousness of the injury.

"After three weeks, it's serious," Quenneville told ESPN.

It's a big blow for Chicago, not helped by the fact that their usual back-up goaltender  Nikolai Khabibulin has been sidelined since November 17 with a leg injury.

The Blackhawks are entering a crucial period where they face five tough games in eight days.

Reports suggest that Quenneville could call upon Kent Simpson, who has been recalled from Rockford.

Quenneville admits the goaltender issue won't change the way the current NHL leaders play.

"No, we don't want to change how we're playing," Quenneville said.

"We want to make sure we're consistent in how we play in front of them. Certainly we would love to play in the other team's end as much as possible but going into the game we want to make sure it's how we play that's important regardless of what they're doing. We don't want to change."

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