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Shaw eager to return to Chicago's lineup for Game 3

by Shawn P. Roarke / Chicago Blackhawks

LOS ANGELES -- Chicago Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw can't wait to get back into the lineup for Game 3 of the Western Conference Final against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

He got a taste of what his role will be during practice at Staples Center on Friday afternoon, when he skated with his likely linemates for the game, Brandon Saad and Kris Versteeg.

"Just watching the guys play, I've been getting amped up," Shaw said. "I'm excited to get back out there."

With Shaw returning to the lineup for Game 3 (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS), center Peter Regin is expected to be relegated to a healthy scratch after a good run on Chicago's fourth line during the past four games. During his time in the lineup, Regin played a little more than 11 minutes per game, but he did not put up any points.

"Somebody has to come out," Regin said after the team's practice at Staples Center. "If I'm in that mix I'll just have to deal with it and stay positive and be ready to play if I get a chance again. That's the only thing you can do.

"The worst thing you can do is put your head down. Then you don't perform if you get a chance again, then you really screw yourself. Try to take the positives from the game and try to focus on that and be ready if I get a chance again."

Coach Joel Quenneville said it was not an easy to decide who would come out of the lineup for Shaw, who had two goals and four points in seven Stanley Cup Playoff games before the injury. Shaw also reached 20 goals in the regular season for the first time. He said Shaw's return evens out Chicago's four lines even more, with the skill and grit among the forwards spread out more evenly

"As a staff we always talk about our options," Quenneville said. "We look every day whether it's the lines, ice time, who is in the lineup. That's what we evaluate and the decisions we make."

Shaw has not played since Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round series against the Minnesota Wild.

He admitted he has some anxiousness. Shaw said he has rarely had to deal with an extended injury and is curious how his body will respond after he was sidelined for almost three weeks with his lower-body ailment.

Will there be pain? Will he have the speed and mobility he possessed before the injury? What about when he takes that first big hit?

"You try not to get hit," he said, punctuating the statement with a tentative laugh. "Hopefully, you are fast enough to stay away from guys. Everyone says that first time you tweak it, it's going to hurt, but don't worry about it and nothing is going to happen to it and keep your mind moving forward."

Shaw says it will be easier to focus as the game approaches, as his senses are assaulted by a hostile road crowd and he joins his teammates and friends in the visitors dressing room to share in the preparations for Game 3.

Then, he said, there will be no more concerns about joining a series in midstream.

"I'm well-rested, excited; got a lot of energy," he said, "so hopefully I can help the boys out that way."

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