Teravainen expected to return to Blackhawks lineup vs. Wild


Teravainen expected to return to Blackhawks lineup vs. Wild

Teuvo Teravainen came out of the Johnny’s IceHouse West locker room sporting a black sweater on Monday.

In postseason practice sessions, forwards wearing that color sweater signifies they’re on the third or fourth line. And that meant that, after a few games out of the lineup, Teravainen was back in it.

Teravainen, who was a healthy scratch in Games 3-6 in the first round, looks to be in when the Blackhawks begin their second-round series against the Minnesota Wild on Friday. Coach Joel Quenneville said the latest lineup change was more about getting Teravainen’s two-way game back into action than it was Kris Versteeg, who as of now will start the second round as a healthy scratch. Teravainen gets this latest chance with Antoine Vermette and Patrick Sharp.

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“The three of them looked good out there today,” Quenneville said. “They all [have] a little bit something different on the line, they’ve all got different dimensions to their game. He’s got two experienced guys out there but I like his presence, as well. I think he’s going to add some speed and I think that predictability on both sides of the puck is something that he can bring to that line. We’ll see how it plays itself out. Potentially, it could really be a good line for us.”

Vermette has been impressed with Teravainen’s play.

“He’s very creative: good hands, good player, skill player, obviously. I thought we played well together when we played together at points during the season and I think he was going to bring an offensive dimension for sure,” said Vermette, who added that Teravainen could handle playing on this stage. “It’s such a learning process but he’s a very gifted player, great set of skills. I think his game is suitable to the type of game we’re playing and he had special assets working for him.”

Teravainen’s potential in the postseason was evident in his debut in Game 1 vs. Nashville, when he assisted on Niklas Hjalmarsson’s goal. He struggled in Game 2, however — the Blackhawks in general did — and was back out of the lineup. Still, Teravainen’s gotten the chance to watch and learn and now is ready to put it all to good use.

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“I think I learned a lot,” he said. “The first game was good. The second one I think I didn’t play that good and we lost the game, too. I’ve just been practicing hard and working hard to get back. I think I’ve got a lot of experience.”

Teravainen is getting another chance. The Blackhawks have liked what they’ve gotten from him thus far. Now Teravainen will try and be a steady postseason presence.

“I’ll try my best,” Teravainen said. “I know I can play, I know I can help the team. So I just have to find my game and play smart, simple hockey. I don’t know. I’ll just go straight forward, shoot the puck and it should be good.”

Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'

Blackhawks edge out Senators in shootout: 'It was really nice to get a win'

It was a rare sight to see the Blackhawks in a shootout on Wednesday night.

It was just the second time this season — and first time at the United Center — that the Blackhawks made it past 3-on-3 overtime. 

The last came on Dec. 2, 2017, a 3-2 shootout loss to the Stars in Dallas. On Wednesday night, the Blackhawks were on the other end, beating the Ottawa Senators 3-2 in a seven-round shootout. Nick Schmaltz netted the game-winner.

"We'll take it," coach Joel Quenneville said. "I thought we had a decent game tonight. Overtime not so good, I liked the shootout victory, Fors made some big saves for us particularly as the game got deeper. Our third was OK, I thought our first two were way better, and overtime we gave up some high quality, some bells were rings for a bit there. But it was nice to see the shootout win."

Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, recording another multi-point game, his 16th of the season.

"I mean we need every point we can get at this point," Kane said. "There's still belief in this locker room. Obviously we need to go on quite a run and have a big record here down the stretch. But take it a game at a time and nice to get two points."

Anton Forsberg was a big reason the Blackhawks even recorded those two points. The 25-year-old netminder stopped 34 of 36 shots and made a handful of big saves down the stretch.

"It was really nice to get a win for sure," Forsberg said. "I would love to have a lot more wins, but right now just gotta look forward and get as many wins as possible."

Added Quenneville: "I think it was good for him to win a game the way he did. Lot of shots were on the line, as we progressed, got deeper, hitting the point first was big for him and for us and then finding a way to get the extra one was a good win."

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

NBC Sports Chicago

Three Things to Watch: Blackhawks collide with Senators

Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the Ottawa Senators tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.

1. Trade chips.

The Blackhawks have reached the point in their season where they have no choice but to become sellers before the Feb. 26 deadline, and we saw that when they traded Michal Kempny to the Washington Capitals on Monday for a conditional third-round pick in 2018. Tommy Wingels could also be an attractive piece for a team looking to fill out their depth.

The Senators will definitely be sellers, and wow do they have some names potentially on the market that can fetch large returns: Derrick Brassard and Mike Hoffman are two players who log top-six minutes on a nightly basis and also have term left on their contract, which is great for teams looking to load up for this year and beyond.

The biggest name to watch, probably in the league altogether, is Erik Karlsson, who could be on the move if a team offers a big enough package for the Senators to pull the trigger now as opposed to in the offseason if they feel him re-signing is a long shot. He was the best defenseman last season, and if a team steps up to get him, they're getting two possible postseason runs out of him.

2. Artem Anisimov's experiment at left wing not working.

Joel Quenneville has tried rekindling the magic between Anisimov, Nick Schmaltz and Patrick Kane as of late, only this time Anisimov is playing the wing and it just hasn't been very effective. The trio was on the ice for each of the two 5-on-5 goals the Kings scored on Monday, and Anisimov completely lost his man on the first one.

It's important to establish a consistent left winger for Schmaltz and Kane, and maybe putting Alex DeBrincat up there is something you consider going forward as part of a long-term solution. Move Anisimov back down as the third-line center to play in more of a defensive role and continue using his big body on power plays for his offensive abilities might be the best bet.

3. Win the special teams battle.

In their last meeting against Ottawa on Jan. 9, the Blackhawks went 4-for-6 on the power play and 4-on-4 on the penalty kill in an 8-2 win. And those are two areas to look out for again.

The Senators own the 28th-ranked power play with a 16.1 percent success rate and 29th-ranked penalty kill with a 74.5 percent success rate. Get ready for another offensive outburst?