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Blackhawks’ switch works for Bryan Bickell and Patrick Kane

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 24, 2014 at 1:16 am •  Published: April 24, 2014
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CHICAGO — For Bryan Bickell, getting his first goal of the playoffs required just one little change from Joel Quenneville.

“We got rid of Kaner on our line for a couple of periods,” Bickell said with a laugh.

It turned out to be a change that benefited both Bickell and fellow winger Patrick Kane.

With his top line struggling to generate offense, the Blackhawks coach pulled the trigger on another line change breaking up the Jonathan Toews, Bickell and Kane line that had played so well in Game 3 and inserting Marian Hossa there instead.

The result turned out to be all Quenneville could hope for as Kane scored the 4-3 winner in overtime of Game 4 on Wednesday night at the United Center with his second goal of the night. For his part, Bickell, a revelation in the playoffs last season, scored his first goal of this playoffs to tie the game 3-3 in the third period. The ensuing victory tied the NHL playoff series 2-2 with Game 5 in St. Louis on Friday night.

“Now look at (Kane),” Bickell said as the media horde in the Hawks dressing room crowded around his teammate. “He’s making plays. Hossa jumped in and we were playing great, had some good sparks and got that big tying goal, it was huge.”

With the Hawks down 3-2, a nervous United Center crowd was holding its breath, hoping for some sort of spark. The minutes were ticking by after Vladimir Tarasenko put the Blues ahead at 12 minutes, 26 seconds in the third, and the Hawks were staring down the barrel of a potential 3-1 series deficit.

But Bickell let them exhale. He redirected a shot in front of the net from Michal Rozsival at 16:08 to help propel the Hawks to their overtime victory.

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