CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Kris Versteeg is back in the lineup for Game 7 of the Western Conference Final against the Los Angeles Kings.
He replaces defenseman Sheldon Brookbank, who was used as a forward in Game 6 with Versteeg scratched.
The Blackhawks have clawed back from a 3-1 series deficit to force the deciding game Sunday at United Center (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS). In Game 6 at Staples Center, Chicago coach Joel Quenneville scratched Versteeg, who struggled in Game 5, and played Brookbank up front.
Versteeg is playing right wing on the fourth line with left wing Brandon Bollig and center Michal Handzus, who started Game 6 as the center of the third line. He has one goal and two assists and is minus-5 in 14 games in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Chicago's third line is comprised of left wing Patrick Sharp, center Marcus Kruger and right wing Ben Smith, a combination that played well when put together in spurts for overtime of Game 5 and throughout Game 6.
"They played a lot in the last two games," Quenneville said of the third line. "They scored a big goal for us last game. They give us some speed, some ability to check. I think they give us some balance, as well. I thought the three of them worked well together two games ago, played together a lot, for sure the overtime part."
Smith said the combination works because there's a little bit of everything on the line. All three have speed, can take faceoffs and make plays on the offensive end.
"The biggest thing for us is being strong defensively," Smith said. "Adding [Sharp] on there, I think we can add an element of offense that this team needs. It's exciting for us to get a bit more ice [together], a bit more opportunity and try to make the most of it."
Chicago's top two lines remained the same as the past two games, including the second unit that features right wing Patrick Kane and has given the Kings a lot of trouble defending.
Here are the projected lineups:
Marian Gaborik – Anze Kopitar – Dustin Brown
Tanner Pearson – Jeff Carter – Tyler Toffoli
Dwight King – Jarret Stoll – Justin Williams
Kyle Clifford – Mike Richards – Trevor Lewis
Jake Muzzin – Drew Doughty
Willie Mitchell – Slava Voynov
Alec Martinez – Matt Greene
Scratched: Colin Fraser, Brayden McNabb, Andrew Bodnarchuk, Jeff Schultz, Linden Vey, Andy Andreoff, Jordan Nolan, Jean-Francois Berube
Injured: Robyn Regehr (knee)
Bryan Bickell – Jonathan Toews – Marian Hossa
Brandon Saad – Andrew Shaw – Patrick Kane
Patrick Sharp – Marcus Kruger – Ben Smith
Brandon Bollig – Michal Handzus – Kris Versteeg
Duncan Keith – Niklas Hjalmarsson
Nick Leddy – Brent Seabrook
Johnny Oduya – Michal Rozsival
Scratched: Sheldon Brookbank, Peter Regin, Joakim Nordstrom, Jeremy Morin, David Rundblad, Klas Dahlbeck