The Blackhawks won for the sixth time in seven games and boosted their point total to 48, tops in the NHL. Montreal has lost four in a row.
Crawford had last won Dec. 2 in a 5-4 victory over New York Islanders and had not appeared in a game since he gave up three goals on 16 shots against Phoenix Dec. 5.
Ray Emery had started every Chicago game since then, but he was given the night off after suffering a 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh Tuesday.
Crawford made 20 saves and gave up the first goal of the game, but the Blackhawks then overwhelmed Peter Budaj to turn the contest into a route.
Budaj stopped 23 shots.