Updated: May 14, 2014 12:30AM
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Coach Joel Quenneville got the band back together. For a little while, at least.
After reuniting Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa in the second period of Game 5 and getting an immediate offensive lift, Quenneville stuck with that trio to open Game 6. It had been one of the best lines for most of the regular season until Hossa was injured against the Penguins at Soldier Field on
March 1. Game 5 was the first time since then that the three have played on the same line.
Toews said after Game 5 that some consistency in the lines would help, but Sharp wasn’t taking anything for granted, given the way Quenneville has shaken things up throughout this series.
“We’ll see,” Sharp said. “Lines get mixed around all the time. You’ve got to be prepared to play with anybody. But those two guys, we’ve had some success this season in the regular season. This will be our first time getting a chance to play with each other in the playoffs, so we’re going to play our hardest and see what happens.”
Learning on the job
Rookie forward Joakim Nordstrom spent most of this season in Rockford and didn’t expect to play in the postseason after being called up in April. But he played in his seventh playoff game Tuesday night. It’s a big jump from the Rockford IceHogs to the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“Probably desperation,” Nordstrom said. “It’s a lot more desperation now in the playoffs. You can lose a game and maybe a series on one mistake. But it’s still hockey.”
Nordstrom had not scored a point and was a minus-4 in his first six playoff games. But his speed and ability to play both ends of the ice keeps him in there.
“He’s been all right,” Quenneville said. “He gives us some speed. He’s played a couple of different positions. He started on the wing spot and … when [Andrew Shaw] went down [in Game 1 against the Wild], he did all right in more of a responsible role.”
Defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson, who took a puck to the throat in Game 2, was spotted talking in the dressing room, but has yet to be cleared to speak with the media.
“I don’t know if he’s talking, but he might be yelling and screaming a few things,” Quenneville joked.
Quenneville said he expected Shaw, who’s been out with an apparent leg injury suffered in
Game 1, to start skating “over the next day or so.”