Updated: May 8, 2014 11:13PM
Forward Andrew Shaw will miss his third consecutive game Friday and might not play in the rest of the series because of an injury he suffered early in Game 1 against the Minnesota Wild.
It’s a bit of a setback, considering coach Joel Quenneville was optimistic Shaw would be able to play in Game 3. But he did not play Tuesday and will not make the trip to St. Paul for Game 4, Quenneville said. But perhaps that was based on Shaw’s own eagerness to return.
“Every guy is different,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘He’s a very competitive guy, and he probably would’ve done anything he could to play. I think we’ve got to tame him a little bit in that regard.”
Asked if he was hopeful Shaw would return in the Wild series, Quenneville said, “We’ll see.”
Quenneville jumbled his lines even more than he usually does during practice Thursday.
The four lines were Bryan Bickell-Jonathan Toews-Ben Smith, Brandon Saad-Marcus Kruger-Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp-Michal Handzus-Marian Hossa and Brandon Bollig- Joakim Nordstrom-Jeremy Morin. Kris Versteeg was the odd man out.
“We’re looking for balance and maybe . . . a little more threat to score on all the lines,” Quenneville said.
It’s a promotion of sorts for Smith on the top line and Kruger on the second line.
“You’re used to it around here,” said Smith, who has one goal and three points and is a plus-5 in the postseason. “It keeps you guessing, keeps you energized. I can only speak for me, but I have to be better. As a group, we know we can be and will be better. We’re excited.”
The Hawks will be looking to rebound, especially offensively after a 4-0 loss in Game 3. They were shut out twice in last year’s playoffs and responded with high-scoring victories over the Detroit Red Wings (4-1 in Game 5) and Boston Bruins (6-5 in overtime in Game 4).
Ready for liftoff?
Since the 2010 playoffs, the Hawks are 18-18 (.500) in Games 1-3 of a series, but 25-6 (.806) in Games 4-7.
That’s by far the best late-series record in the NHL in that span. The next-best are the Philadelphia Flyers (14-11, .560), Pittsburgh Penguins (13-11, .542), Red Wings (12-11, .522), Los Angeles Kings (14-13, .519) and Bruins (18-18, .500).
The current group has been even better. Since last season, the Hawks are 9-9 (.500) in Games 1-3 and 13-1 (.929) in Games 4-7. The Hawks have 18 players from last year’s Cup championship on their roster.