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Blackhawks seeking offense, tweak lines for Game 3

Chicago has yet to score goal, trails Predators 2-0 in series

by Brian Hedger / Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Coach Joel Quenneville isn't afraid to experiment with line combinations, and he's hoping to find some that will lead to offense for the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Blackhawks are down 2-0 in the Western Conference First Round best-of-7 series against the Nashville Predators, and haven't scored a goal entering Game 3 at Bridgestone Arena on Monday (9:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, SN 1, TVA Sports, FS-TN, CSN-CH).

Chicago will try new combinations for a second straight game. Rookie Ryan Hartman will move from the first line to the fourth, and Dennis Rasmussen will move to left wing on the third line.

"We're going to have to [find something that works]," Quenneville said. "I think back to last game, and there were some shifts we had it going a little bit there in segments of the third or first couple minutes of the game, but basically for two games we haven't had that momentum on our side at all."

The move isn't new for Hartman, who played on each of the four lines at different points during the regular season. He and other Blackhawks forwards know the routine with Quenneville's tendency to search for combinations.

"Sometimes when you don't score, you need that," Hartman said after the morning skate Monday. "You need to jumble it around and you need to find something different, and get a different look somewhere. That's part of the game. That's part of trying to find, not necessarily chemistry, but trying to find just a little spark."

The latest reconfiguration also has rookie Nick Schmaltz and Richard Panik on the top line with center Jonathan Toews, who hasn't scored a playoff goal since Game 4 of the 2015 Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning (11 games). During the regular season, Toews was most effective playing with them.

The three started the series together, but were quickly separated in Game 1, which the Predators won 1-0 at United Center.

"We didn't deviate too much going into either game [in Chicago], maybe a [minor] lineup change," Quenneville said. "We tried every combination in our last game, few line changes in Game 1 … it's how we play and how we compete that has to be raised to the level that's needed come playoff time."

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