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2015 NHL Draft

Pisani gets his chance with Kopecky sidelined

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

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Pisani gets his chance with Kopecky sidelined
An injury to Tomas Kopecky means Fernando Pisani will crack the Blackhawks' lineup in Game 2 and receive his first playoff action since Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Final with the Oilers.
VANCOUVER, B.C. -- Game 2 against Vancouver on Friday will mark Chicago forward Fernando Pisani's first playoff game since Game 7 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Final.

Pisani, a healthy scratch against the Canucks in Game 1 Wednesday, is getting his opportunity Friday due to Tomas Kopecky's upper-body injury. Kopecky suffered the injury late in the first period of Game 1 when he was hit into the corner boards by Canucks' defenseman Sami Salo. He's listed as day-to-day.

"It's been a long time for me, so I'm just excited to get back into it and hopefully it works out," Pisani said.

Pisani had a magical run with the Oilers in 2006, scoring 14 goals, including three on the power play and one shorthanded, in 24 games. He's hoping he can prove his performance five years ago was not a fluke.

"I think every player who puts the skates on wants to contribute one way or another," Pisani said. "That's the focus I'm going to have. I'm not going to put pressure on me to score goals every time I'm out there. I'm going to play my style of game and hopefully get a few bounces and everything kind of falls into place."

Pisani, who will likely start the game on a line with Ryan Johnson and Viktor Stalberg, had 16 points in 60 games with the Blackhawks this season, but he's been held off the score sheet since Feb. 4, when he had an assist here at Rogers Arena in a 4-2 loss to the Canucks.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville believes Pisani is a guy who could turn into an unsung offensive hero for the Hawks.

"You can use him in a lot of areas, and he has a decent shot as well so he provides offense," Quenneville said. "A lot of times in the playoffs it's the guys that are least expected to provide scoring. A guy like that could jump up and be a big factor that way."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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Obviously there's a lot of expectations around me but it's something I try not to focus on. I'm just trying to go out there, be myself on the ice every day, try to get better, be myself around the guys in the locker room. I think that's what's made me successful and the person that I am.

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