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Blackhawks shake up power play units for Game 4

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Joel Quenneville tried putting all his top guys on one power play unit, and it didn't work. So now he's trying to spread the wealth again.

At Wednesday's practice, the Blackhawks' top power play unit had Marian Hossa and Duncan Keith at the points, with Patrick Sharp, Brandon Saad and Bryan Bickell up front. The second unit featured Michal Rozsival and either Brent Seabrook or Nick Leddy at the point, with Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Andrew Shaw.

"We're just looking for a little more balance on the units," Quenneville said. "Hopefully, we'll get some production."

The Hawks are just 3-of-22 on the power play this postseason, including 0-of-6 in losses to Detroit in Games 2 and 3. Even a unit featuring all-stars Keith, Sharp, Hossa, Toews and Kane struggled to get anything past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard.

"The last couple games, it hasn't been very good," Keith said. "So probably expect some changes there."

Bickell's addition in front of the net gives the Hawks a big body to both deflect shots and block Howard's vision.

"Howard's playing great, he's a hot goaltender right now," Shaw said. "Getting big bodies like Bicks in front of the net and finding those loose pucks and putting them home, I think it's going to be great for us. ... They have big defensemen and they can move you pretty well. We've just got to battle and compete and try to take his eyes away as much as possible."

As for 5-on-5 scenarios, Sharp again skated on the top line, to the left of Toews and Hossa. Saad again was with Dave Bolland and Kane on the second line. Quenneville made that move in Game 3, and liked the results. Toews and Saad have combined for no goals and four assists this postseason.

"We weren't having a ton of success, so we mixed up the lines a little bit," Saad said. "And I thought we played well last time."

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1 Comment

Yeah! Keep Shaw in as long as possible. He's averaging, what, 4-6 minutes of penalties per game this series, and negated a goal? He's the best player the Wings have.

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About the blogger

Mark Lazerus was honored nationally by the Associated Press Sports Editors for three straight years at the Post-Tribune, was named one of the top three columnists in Indiana for three straight years and has won more than 20 statewide writing awards. He has covered Notre Dame for Sun-Times Media, and now covers the Blackhawks.



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This page contains a single entry by Mark Lazerus published on May 22, 2013 1:11 PM.

Down 2-1 vs. Wings, 'angry' Hawks not about to panic was the previous entry in this blog.

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