Chicago Blackhawks v Tampa Bay Lightning
Updated: November 26, 2013 6:39AM
TAMPA, Fla. — Andrew Shaw’s knack for coming up with big goals during the playoffs raised expectations surrounding the Blackhawks’ scrappy third-line center. Among his five goals were the game-winner in triple overtime of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final and two big ones in the must-have Game 5 against the Detroit Red Wings in the conference semifinals.
But Shaw’s scoring didn’t change his role.
So he wasn’t at all concerned that entering Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning he was still without a goal this season — a problem he took care of when he scored on a power play early in the third period. He has been playing quite well, with four assists through 10 games, just two off his total from all of last season, to go along with his usual solid defense and a team-high 30 hits.
‘‘I feel I’ve been creating a lot of chances, a lot of big hits, and created some momentum,’’ Shaw said. ‘‘I’ve been doing a lot of good things in front of the net on the power play. I know I haven’t scored, but I’m confident with how I’m playing.’’
Shaw had nine goals and six assists in 48 regular-season games last year before posting five goals and four assists in the playoffs. As a rookie in 2011, he had 12 goals in 37 games. So the ability to finish is there. But like most of the Hawks, he’s waiting for the dam to burst.
‘‘When they come, they come in bunches,’’ he said. ‘‘I’m just going to keep working and try not to think about it.”
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville doesn’t want Shaw — the only top-nine forward on the team without a goal yet — to start pressing.
‘‘He’s playing well this year,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘I know he’s found a way to be productive playing that same way, and we expect him to produce — maybe at a higher rate than we’ve seen right now — but I don’t want him to change his game, the way he plays and what he brings to our team. I think his production doesn’t really reflect the way he’s played.’’