Blackhawks

Andrew Desjardins comes up big for Blackhawks in Game 3

Blackhawks

Andrew Desjardins normally wouldn’t shoot this much, or so he says.

“It’s kind of weird. I’m usually not like that,” said Desjardins, who had four shots on goal, one of which found its way through Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne. “But that was my mindset coming in. Any time I get around the net, just shoot it.”

The mindset worked, as Desjardins scored Sunday’s first goal for the Blackhawks, who went on to beat the Predators 4-2 in Game 3 of their first-round series. Desjardins, who was in the lineup after being a healthy scratch the first two games, gave the fourth line a scoring threat, even if he’s not typically that type of player.

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For Desjardins, it was just about taking advantage of the situation.

“I was just kind of waiting, ready,” Desjardins said. “We’ve been working hard and I was just ready to go. I was fortunate to get into the game today.”

Desjardins, who the Blackhawks acquired from the San Jose Sharks for Ben Smith at the trade deadline, has played well on the fourth line in previous games. He gave that line a spark when Joakim Nordstrom was suspended and later injured in the regular season. He gave them a scoring punch on Sunday.

“I liked his game,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “The depth of our playoff rounds is a great asset to have organizationally and Desi played real strong down the stretch in different positions, on different lines as well. He made a couple nice plays tonight offensively.”

 

Marian Hossa said Desjardins added a jolt.

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“It was a really important first goal,” Hossa said. “He just jumped in in Game 3 and I think he had a really strong game for us. Definitely, guys like that give us more energy and he’s a guy who can play a physical game and that kind of brings energy.”

Desjardins gave the Blackhawks their first lead during a game thisseries, even if it was brief. His second-chance shot off his own rebound got by Rinne late in the first period.

“I didn’t even see it go in until [Marcus Kruger] celebrated there. I didn’t have a good view of it,” he said. “I was fortunate to get it five-hole. I think he’d take that one back if he could.”

Will Desjardins stay in the lineup for Game 4? Given what he did on Sunday, he should. The veteran center-turned-wing took advantage of his opportunity and got the Blackhawks on the board early. He’s earned another chance.