On Friday, it was Bryan Bickell's turn on the carousel of players used to replace the injured Patrick Sharp on the Chicago Blackhawks' top line, and for a game he was just the ticket.
The burly winger scored his first goal since March 5 to force extra hockey against the Blue Jackets, from which the Hawks emerged with a crucial 4-3 shootout win and two points. In addition, Patrick Kane tallied a goal and an assist and the top line trio, including Jonathan Toews, each was a plus-2 on the night.
"I haven't had a goal in a while, and it felt good to get a goal and play with those guys and be a plus-2," Bickell said after the Hawks practiced Saturday. "But it was more a team game. Our second period wasn't the best. To get a comeback and get the win was the biggest part."
To get more production from everyone else is what Hawks coach Joel Quenneville has in mind, a theme he returned to Saturday when asked about his top combo's night.
"They had the puck in the offensive zone a lot, I thought Johnny had the puck a lot and Kaner was dangerous around the net," Quenneville said. "They're a line we expect them to score and be productive in a lot of ways. But we're still looking for offense across the board and I think we're due for some other lines to contribute offensively and chip in along the way."
One-timers: It was a day off Saturday for most of the Hawks mainstays, as Toews, Kane, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Brian Campbell, Marian Hossa and Chris Campoli all did not skate... Quenneville said he still does not have a target date for Sharp's return. "I'll get a better indication once we get him on the ice," the Hawks coach said. "We'll see the next couple days if he's close to getting on the ice – which, hopefully, this week he will be out there. And then we'll get an indication. But I don't foresee him in the next few days where he'd have a chance to play."... Blue Jackets defenseman Jan Hejda has been suspended for two games and will forfeit $21,505.38 in salary for delivering an elbow to Marcus Kruger's head Friday, the league announced. On Saturday, Kruger didn't say much about the incident or suspension: "I don't know, I haven't seen the replay."
Top line clicks, but Blackhawks look for more elsewhere
We've upgraded our reader commenting system. Learn more about the new features.
Los Angeles Times welcomes civil dialogue about our stories; you must register with the site to participate. We filter comments for language and adherence to our Terms of Service, but not for factual accuracy. By commenting, you agree to these legal terms. Please flag inappropriate comments.
Having technical problems? Check here for guidance.