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Blackhawks forward Shaw will be in Game 3 lineup

Thursday, 05.22.2014 / 5:00 PM

By Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writer / Blackhawks-Kings series blog

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Blackhawks forward Shaw will be in Game 3 lineup

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw will return to the lineup in Game 3 of the Western Conference Final against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday at Staples Center (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS), coach Joel Quenneville confirmed Thursday.

The best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff series is tied 1-1.

Shaw's return could help the Blackhawks in a couple of areas that were lacking in a 6-2 loss in Game 2. Quenneville said he has a pretty good idea of who will sit to make room for Shaw, who has missed the past seven games with a leg injury but wasn't offering up that information Thursday.

"It will be huge," Chicago forward Ben Smith said. "He's a guy that brings a lot of energy. His presence in the room, his presence on the ice, his physicality. His energy mostly is the biggest thing. Having him back would be nice."

Game 2 was, for the most part, evenly played until the Kings went ahead late and the Blackhawks had to press for goals. The teams split the shot attempts at even strength but Chicago's third line had a rough night.

The Blackhawks had 30.4 percent of the shot attempts (Corsi) when Patrick Sharp was on the ice. They had 23.8 percent with Peter Regin on the ice and 16.7 percent with Kris Versteeg. Granted, that line earned more defensive-zone starts than the other three, but having one line getting dominated in a close game can be a big problem.

During the regular season and early in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Shaw has been slightly better than the Blackhawks' average in possession stats.

Shaw doesn't have to play on the third line Saturday, but that's been his most typical place in the lineup. Even if he doesn't, it doesn't seem likely Quenneville would keep the existing line together.

"He's a versatile player when it comes to what he provides out on the ice, whether it's in front of the net, going to the hard areas, playing different positions," defenseman Duncan Keith said. "He's a big part of our team."

Another less-tangible but possibly vital way Shaw will help is his demeanor on the ice. He is well-known for the energy and agitation he offers.

The Blackhawks will be trying to put a surprisingly large defeat behind them, and having a player like Shaw rejoining the group could help with that.

"He's got an element that you appreciate, his competitiveness," Quenneville said. "He's got some skills. He's got some abrasiveness. He's got the right attitude to find a way to get the job done. Just adding that to our lineup ...

"Getting him back in the lineup is exciting. His presence can help us as well."

As for who might be the odd man out, Quenneville didn't offer any hints. Any of Regin, Versteeg or Brandon Bollig could be scratched. Bollig took an unnecessary penalty early in the third period that led to the tying goal for the Kings.

"We'll practice [Friday] and see how that plays out," Quenneville said. "We pretty well got our minds made up, but we'll get a practice [Friday] and go from there."

Quote of the Day

We think that Randy is a very good coach. Our players think that Randy is a very good coach. We think that he's going to get the most out of this group. With the addition of the two assistants, a bit of a different dynamic, we're very comfortable that this is a quality coaching staff that's going to maximize the potential of this team.

— Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis on head coach Randy Carlyle and his staff