Goaltender Peter Mannino (12-3-0) stopped 26 of 27 shots to collect his fourth straight win. The outing marked the 14th time in 17 appearances in net for the Wolves that Mannino has held opponents to two or fewer goals, which includes allowing a single tally in each of his last three starts.
“We were loose in the first period and were able to take advantage of that,” said Wolves Head Coach Don Lever. “We are playing consistently now and with urgency, which is what we want to see.”
Crabb lit the lamp first to give Chicago (26-17-0-2) a 1-0 lead, 4:11 into the game. Right wing Spencer Machacek got the puck at the left of the crease, spun around and flipped a pass out to Crabb, who cranked a shot past Griffins netminder Daniel Larsson from the right face-off circle.
The Wolves inched ahead, 2-0, at 8:44 of the first frame when Stapleton drove into the zone and tried to center the puck for Crabb, puck a Griffins defender went down to block the shot and accidentally deflected it into the net.
Crabb bagged his second of the game with 3:33 left in the opening frame, slapping a pass from Matt Anderson straight past Larsson to send Chicago into the first intermission with a 3-0 lead.
Grand Rapids (21-24-0-1) answered Chicago’s three-goal first period by scoring 43 seconds into the second frame. Working on the power play, right wing Jeremy Williams took a pass from defenseman Doug Janik and ripped it high into the back of the net, past Mannino to make the score, 3-1.
Right wing Spencer Machacek increased the Wolves’ lead to three, 4-1, when when came around the back of the net and jammed the puck under Larsson’s pads at 19:39 of the middle frame.
Larsson (13-14-1) turned aside 23 shots for Grand Rapids.
Center Jason Krog banked a shot into the empty left side of the net to round out scoring, 5-1, at 8:06 of the third period.
The Wolves host the Houston Aeros at the Allstate Arena on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Grand Rapids 0 1 0 -- 1
Chicago 3 1 1 -- 5
First Period---1, Chicago, Crabb 12 (Machacek, Welch), 4:11; 2, Chicago, Stapleton 22 (Anderson), 8:44; 3, Chicago, Crabb 13 (Anderson, Stapleton), 16:27. Penalties---Delmore, Grand Rapids (Delmore), 2:06; Machacek, Chicago (tripping), 4:51; Pare, Grand Rapids (goaltender interference), 18:38; Oystrick, Chicago (slashing), 19:08; Chelios, Chicago (slashing), 19:31.
Second Period---4, Grand Rapids, Williams 15 (Janik, Nylander), 0:43 pp; 5, Chicago, Machacek 10 (Holzapfel, Kulda), 19:39. Penalties---Lemieux, Grand Rapids (tripping), 7:36; Mannino, Chicago (delay of game), 9:40; Pyett, Grand Rapids (fighting), 13:25; Crabb, Chicago (fighting), 13:25; Kindl, Grand Rapids (hooking), 14:28.
Third Period---6, Chicago, Krog 8 (Sterling, Stewart), 8:06. Penalties---None.
Shots on goal---Grand Rapids: 10-11-6--27. Chicago: 7-10-11--28. Power plays---Grand Rapids: 1-5. Chicago: 0-4. Goalies---Grand Rapids, Larsson (23-28). Chicago, Mannino (26-27). A---7,506. Referee---Shaun Davis. Linesmen---Brian Oliver and Judson Ritter.