Two days removed from a triple overtime victory, Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville decided changes were necessary to his lineup for Game 3.
Out of the lineup came Antoine Vermette and Teuvo Teravainen. In came Joakim Nordstrom and Kris Versteeg. Both players that entered the series on Thursday had been out of the lineup for a month.
In Nordstrom’s case, he played a mere 7:06 and had only one shot on goal in a Game 3 loss, which has Chicago now trailing 2-1 in the Western Conference Final. Versteeg also had just one shot in just under 14 minutes of ice time.
Quenneville told reporters afterward that Vermette and Teravainen were both “fine.”
“Well, we just wanted to get some fresh legs in there. We felt that (Versteeg) had never played over a long stretch in the last series, we wanted to get him back in there,” said Quenneville.
“You know, tough game the other day, travel. We wanted to bring some new guys in.”
Now, what will the Blackhawks do for Game 4? Do they stay with Nordstrom and Versteeg, or go back to Vermette and Teravainen?
Quenneville said the club will consider its options.
Meanwhile, Chicago’s power play was unsuccessful in five opportunities. In a one-goal game, that proved to be the difference in Game 3.
Quenneville admitted the power play, which consisted of a four-minute advantage in the first period, lost momentum for the Blackhawks.
“You got to get into it a little deeper there. We didn’t have zone time. We didn’t get them tired. We’re the ones getting tired because we had to keep breaking out,” said the coach.
“So, you know, I think that was a stretch there we didn’t get the momentum where we should have put a little bit more heat on them. We had them taking penalties and we didn’t make them pay.”