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Jake Dowell prepares for new role as fourth-line wing

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

Jake Dowell will chalk it up as a learning experience.

Dowell’s run as the Blackhawks’ third-line, checking center took a game off with rookie center Marcus Kruger now on board and coach Joel Quenneville sticking with Michael Frolik at center for the time being.

“That’s something I’d like to be full-time,” said Dowell, who was moved to wing on Ryan Johnson’s fourth line Wednesday against the Florida Panthers. “I’d like them to have the confidence in me to be a shut-down center and checking-line center.”

There were tough outings for Dowell on the third line. He was a minus-2 in a 6-3 win against the San Jose Sharks and also in a 5-0 loss to the Dallas Stars.

“I would have liked to have been a bit more productive offensively,” Dowell said. “But that’s not what I was there to do. I was there to shut down other teams’ lines and not get scored on.

“I can always improve on things. It’s something you learn on the fly, playing against some of the top-end forwards on the other teams and things you can and can’t get away with.”

For the time being, it looks as if Dowell will remain at wing. But he’s OK with that.

“I don’t think my game changes a whole out,” said Dowell, who has taken shifts at wing throughout the season. “We just need to be a tough line to play against and a line [Quenne-ville] wants to throw out there against anybody. . . . I love both roles, third and fourth line.”

‘Really awkward’

Florida Panthers winger Jack Skille thought his first game against the Hawks at the United Center since being traded for Frolik in February was “really awkward.” He was a minus-2 in 16:23.

“I saw a couple signs with my name on it, so that was nice,” said Skille, who missed the teams’ first matchup with a high-ankle sprain. “Really awkward and nerve-racking at the start, but I kind of got the hang of it as the game went on.”

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