After voicing his displeasure with being a healthy scratch in Game 3, Antoine Vermette will draw back into the lineup for the Chicago Blackhawks tonight in Game 4 of the Western Conference Final.
Vermette along with Teuvo Teravainen, who also draws in tonight, watched as Chicago fell 2-1 to the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night.
Vermette has a goal and an assist to go along with a plus-4 rating while averaging 13:33 of ice time in 10 playoff games. Teravainen has scored a goal and three points in eight postseason games while averaging 13:46 in ice time.
During the team’s morning skate on Saturday Patrick Sharp skated on a line with Vermette with Teravainen – the trio played together in Chicago’s 3-2 triple overtime victory in Game 2.
Joakim Nordstrom and Kris Versteeg, who were inserted into Game 3 as “fresh legs” appear to be the odd men out tonight.
“There are some good stretches there in Game 2. I think that line can be a factor offensively. I think defensively they’ve been reliable in stretches, as well,” said Blackhwks coach Joel Quenneville of his third line. “Just some pace and energy across the board.
“That four-line rotation that we felt was best in Game 2 is what we’re looking for.”
Andrew Shaw meanwhile skated on the Blackhawks’ fourth line alongside Andrew Desjardins and Marcus Kruger at the United Center this morning.
“(Shaw) had some good games on the wall,” Quenneville said. “We talked about this maybe in the prior series, that some guys like them better on the wing, or you like him better at center. I think it’s 50/50. I think we like him equally as well. He’s comfortable in both areas.
“I think in the playoffs he raises his level of play. That persistence that you saw out of Shawsy just seems to rise.”
Kruger, who didn’t take a single faceoff in Game 3, said he was not battling an injury and expects to be back in the faceoff circle tonight.
“Your instincts, they find a way to get to the puck quicker, they got a good stick, they anticipate real well,” said Quenneville of Kruger. “I think offensively he has the same traits. But I think he’s so adept at the defensive side of things, we give him a little bit more of a job description on that side of it.
“Certainly very valuable and useful in a lot of ways.”
Puck drop tonight is at 8:00 p.m. ET on NBC.