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Red Wings ready for Sharp-Toews-Kane

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Joel Quenneville is putting the old band together for Game 5 of their second-round series against the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday. As the Blackhawks coach always has done during desperate, tough times, it looks like he'll reunite Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane for a do-or-die night.

It's a line that's work exceptionally well in the past for the Hawks, but always has been disbanded in favor of more balance in their forward lines. But down 3-1 to the Red Wings in the best-of-seven series, it may be Quenneville's best chance to ignite a stagnant offense.

But the Red Wings are ready for it.

Actually they say they're ready for anything from the Hawks.

"We'll be ready for it," Detroit forward Justin Abdelkader said. "Obviously, they're going to try to move things around and shuffle things around. We'll be prepared for whatever they throw at us."

Defenseman Kyle Quincey said that little will change from their defensive approach if the Hawks do put Sharp, Toews and Kane together.

"If we do anything different, [Marian] Hossa and the other guys will just burn us," Quincey said. "It's status quo for us. Obviously, they're all great players and we have to respect them and keep their time and space to a minimum."

The matchups have gone the Red Wings' way this series. And Detroit coach Mike Babcock seemed unfazed by Quenneville's apparent decision to use the Sharp-Toews-Kane combination. After all, he's got two top-tier centers in Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg.

"We've got Datsyuk on one unit and we've got Zetterberg on another unit," Babcock said. "And I assume Toews has to play against one of them -- I assume. And I assume [Michal] Handzus has to play against another one."

Quincey said the Red Wings are expecting "pure desperation" from the Hawks.

"They're going to come out hard and we're going to have to match it," he said. "They're going to be very desperate and we know how good this team is. We can't give them any life. This is a very important game."

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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 Adam L. Jahns published on May 25, 2013 12:30 PM.

Quenneville shakes up Blackhawks lines again for Game 5 was the previous entry in this blog.

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