Game 6: BLUES at BLACKHAWKS
Western Conference First Round
St. Louis leads best-of-7 series 3-2
TV: 8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports 2
Andrew Shaw will return from a one-game suspension and likely have a big role for the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 6 of the Western Conference First Round against the St. Louis Blues at United Center on Saturday.
Shaw, suspended for using a homophobic slur late in the third period of Game 4, will skate at left wing on the top line with captain Jonathan Toews and right wing Patrick Kane.
"It's encouraging, for sure," said Shaw, who has two goals and four points in the series. "I know what I need to do when I play with those two guys. They're obviously great with the puck and I'm going to do what I can to get to the net and create some havoc there."
The Blackhawks, who held a full morning skate, trail the best-of-7 series 3-2 after Kane's goal in double overtime in Game 5 on Thursday extended their season. Chicago is 12-4 in elimination games under Joel Quenneville, who became Blackhawks coach in 2008-09.
It also gave Shaw a chance to play at least one more game in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which he hoped to get while watching Game 5 in the Blackhawks locker room at Scottrade Center.
"It was one of those games [when] the nerves get the best of you," Shaw said. "You're sitting in there sweating, worried. I think it's more nerve-wracking to watch the game than to be a part of it. It's a roller-coaster ride, up and down. That overtime was rattling the nerves, that's for sure, but [there was] a lot of excitement when Kane put that one in."
Shaw will supplant Richard Panik on the top line. Panik, who played well in Game 5, will move to left wing on the fourth line with Andrew Desjardins and Dale Weise. Chicago's second and third lines will remain the same.
Under Quenneville, the Blackhawks have faced elimination in Game 6 five times and pushed the series to a seventh game in four. The only defeat was April 23, 2012 against the Arizona Coyotes.
The Coyotes won three games at United Center in that series, which is what St. Louis is trying to do after winning Games 3 and 4 in Chicago.
"I don't really care when we win," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "I just want to win. I don't care when it is. This is a [heck] of a series, two teams just going at it. We feel that we've got enough information and knowledge, knowing how deep you have to go [to win]. The last game showed that, but we just want to win the series, and it doesn't matter when, if, where, whatever. We'll play 'em on the street if they want. We just want to win the series."
The Blues are expected to use the same lineup as Game 5. They held an optional morning skate after not practicing Friday, giving those who didn't skate an extra day of rest after logging high minutes Thursday.
"We know what we've been through and we just felt like today was better to go at it this way, knowing where we're at," Hitchcock said. "So, we made that decision to keep some people off [the ice], so we could pour it into tonight and not waste any energy or physical exertion this morning with some guys."
Video: CHI@STL, Gm5: Fabbri dekes past defenders, scores
Here are the projected lineups:
Jaden Schwartz - Jori Lehtera - Vladimir Tarasenko
Alexander Steen - Paul Stastny - Troy Brouwer
Robby Fabbri - Patrik Berglund - David Backes
Scottie Upshall - Kyle Brodziak - Steve Ott
Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo
Kevin Shattenkirk - Colton Parayko
Carl Gunnarsson - Robert Bortuzzo
Scratched: Joel Edmundson, Dmitrij Jaskin, Magnus Paajarvi, Petteri Lindbohm and Anders Nilsson, Ty Rattie, Chris Butler
Andrew Shaw - Jonathan Toews - Patrick Kane
Artemi Panarin - Artem Anisimov - Teuvo Teravainen
Andrew Ladd - Marcus Kruger - Marian Hossa
Richard Panik - Andrew Desjardins - Dale Weise
Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook
Niklas Hjalmarsson - Trevor Van Riemsdyk
Erik Gustafsson - David Rundblad
Scratched: Michal Rozsival, Tomas Fleischmann, Viktor Svedberg, Brandon Mashinter, Christian Ehrhoff
Status report: The Blackhawks' second and third lines will be the same as they were configured in Game 5, with Teravainen playing in Kane's usual spot at right wing on the second line alongside Panarie and Anisimov, and Kruger flanked by Ladd and Hossa on the third line.
Who's hot: Panarin has points in four straight games (two goals and three assists) for the Blackhawks. ... Backes has points in four of the first five games (two goals and two assists) for the Blues.