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updated: 10/13/2013 12:25 AM

Pirri hoping to make most of his time with Hawks

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Brandon Pirri was disappointed when he was one of the last cuts of training camp.

But it took less than two weeks into the regular season for Pirri to be recalled from Rockford.

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It happened late Friday night after the Blackhawks' 3-2 win over the Islanders with Jimmy Hayes going down to Rockford.

"You can't control these things; you just prepare yourself for when the time comes," Pirri said. "Absolutely to be sent down was disappointing, but you've got to take it and make the best of it and become a better player because of it. You get a lot more minutes down there to work on your game. Hopefully you get rewarded for playing well."

Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said with Michal Handzus being rested on Saturday against Buffalo because of the back-to-back games, the time was right to get a look at Pirri.

"We didn't mind him in camp," Quenneville said. "We thought it was all very close when making those decisions. Jimmy played well in the games he played. We felt Jimmy would play more down there and at the same time Brandon is a fit at center ice for us with Handzus not playing (Saturday). That was some of the thought process."

Quenneville wouldn't commit to Pirri past Saturday.

"We'll see, but he's here now and hopefully he takes advantage of it," Quenneville said.

Pirri missed much of training camp with a lower body injury and played in only two preseason games.

He was working on his all-around game at Rockford.

"It's my fourth year here and I know what I need to do to stick around," Pirri said. "I think I'm a lot more mature and knowing it's a three-zone game. As a 19-year-old it's sexy to put up a lot of points, but as an older guy you kind of realize that offense comes from good defense."

Night off:

Michal Handzus got Saturday off after scoring the winning goal on Friday against the Islanders.

Joel Quenneville moved Handzus to the fourth line on Friday after he started the game centering the second line for Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa.

Quenneville said it had nothing to do with Handzus' inability to get the puck to his linemates in scoring areas.

"I think he's been OK," Quenneville said. "I don't think he's up to par as far as the way he finished the season. I think he's still trying to find his conditioning or timing after being out all off-season and missing all of camp.

"The puck was a lot friendlier with him last year when he was here, but we expect him to keep getting better."

Bickell adjusting:

It was a rough first four games for Bryan Bickell.

Armed with a new four-year, $16 million contract, Bickell went into Saturday's game against Buffalo with 1 assist, a minus-1 and only 5 hits, which ranked fifth on the team.

Joel Quenneville removed Bickell from the top line with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane after the first period on Friday, dropping the veteran to the third line.

"With players everybody has stretches where everything is going right and stretches when the puck is not as friendly with you," Quenneville said.

"You just have to persevere and find a way to contribute, whether it's physically getting more engaged in getting to the tight and tough areas and bring the physical presence he can add.

"Every player is going to have stretches where they're not at their best, but as far as confidence goes, find a way to contribute."

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