Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville says Andrew Shaw plays an "interesting" game.
By interesting, Quenneville must mean gritty, in your face and fearless, because that's what Shaw brings to the Hawks as their third-line center.
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After sitting out the first five preseason games because of a lower body injury, Shaw made his debut Saturday in the Hawks' last exhibition game and scored the winning goal in overtime in 4-3 win over Washington at the United Center.
Nick Leddy scored 2 goals and had an assist as the Hawks closed the preseason 4-0-2.
"Even if it's preseason, I hate missing games," Shaw said.
Shaw had 9 goals and 15 points in 48 games for the Hawks last season before adding 5 more goals in the playoffs, including the winner in triple overtime in Game 1 of the Finals against Boston.
The expectations on Shaw are higher for this season.
"We expect him to get stronger, bigger and more professional," Quenneville said. "He knows the league a little more and knows what he can and can't do. I think offensively he's got some pretty unique ability where the puck seems to follow him around. He's got quick hands and he goes to the tough areas and I think that's what makes him special.
"He brings that relentless attitude that puts him in those spots and he finds a way to get his hands on the puck and he's got some finish as well."
It's going to be a new-look third line for the Hawks with Shaw centering for Brandon Saad and either Ben Smith or Jimmy Hayes.
"Everyone in the room I've played with at some point in my career, so I'm not too worried about that," Shaw said. "I have chemistry with everyone.
"It's huge to have a positive third line defensively and offensively. It was pretty big last year. We changed the momentum in a lot of games and when other lines were down we picked them up and when we were down they picked us up. That's the good thing about having four great lines."
Shaw didn't show any rust in his first game.
"We had those games at Notre Dame and we had the inter-squad game here and he was in all those games," Quenneville said. "He looks good in practice. He's got good energy and good jump. That line was effective line for us last year and we expect them to do the same this year."
Hayes scored his first goal of the preseason in the third period to give the Hawks a 3-2 lead.
Overall, Quenneville saw what he wanted from those competing for roster spots.
"Nobody hurt themselves," Quenneville said.
Patrick Sharp had 2 assists and played a strong game.
Winger Jeremy Morin and defenseman Ryan Stanton didn't dress, which doesn't bode well for them making the team.
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