The Blackhawks were without the net presence and grit of winger Andrew Shaw during their 4-1 victory in Game 2 over the Wild on Sunday, with Shaw missing the game because of an apparent right leg injury he suffered in Game 1 on Friday night.
Shaw left in the first period Friday after taking a hard hit from Wild defenseman Clayton Stoner. Before the game, coach Joel Quenneville said Shaw would make the trip to Minnesota for Game 3 on Tuesday night.
“We’ll see with the next game,” Quenneville said. “We’re looking at him likely playing.”
Shaw’s fire and competitiveness are welcome back in the Hawks’ lineup, Quenneville said.
“We love his style and we like what he brings to our team,” the coach said. “He’s a hardworking type of guy and relentless type of an effort game in and game out. So we’ll fill his shoes and expect him back.”
To fill those shoes, Quenneville mixed up his lineup a bit from Game 1.
Kris Versteeg returned after sitting out the last two games. Joakim Nordstrom played his third consecutive game while Jeremy Morin made his playoff debut. Brandon Bollig, despite playing every regular-season game and each playoff game up until this point, was a healthy scratch.
Quenneville called the move a “coach’s decision.”
Quenneville also said he decided to cut the ice time of defenseman Nick Leddy in the third period. Leddy logged only 46 seconds of ice time in the third.
Hawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson did not miss a shift despite taking a puck to the throat area off a shot by the Wild’s Jonas Brodin in the first period.
“[Hjalmarsson] takes them all over his body — he’s a warrior,” Quenneville said. “We talk about how he blocks a shot and doesn’t miss a shift, but I don’t think we’ve seen him get hit where he did [Sunday] very often. He’s willing to do everything he can to keep the puck away from the net. He’s special in that area.”