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updated: 3/6/2014 11:04 PM

Shaw makes most of step up to Hawks' first line

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  • Andrew Shaw, far right, celebrates his goal with teammates Duncan Keith, Brandon Saad and Jonathan Toews. Shaw and Toews each had 2 goals in the Hawks' rout of the Blue Jackets.

    Andrew Shaw, far right, celebrates his goal with teammates Duncan Keith, Brandon Saad and Jonathan Toews. Shaw and Toews each had 2 goals in the Hawks' rout of the Blue Jackets.
    Associated Press


Credit Joel Quenneville for knowing the right buttons to push.

But it's easier to find those buttons when you have a player like Jonathan Toews on your team.

After 2 losses in three games coming out of the Olympic break, Quenneville promoted Andrew Shaw from the third line to the first with Toews, and the gritty winger responded with 2 goals Thursday night in the Blackhawks' 6-1 rout of Columbus at the United Center.

Toews also scored 2 goals as the Hawks ran their winning streak over the Blue Jackets to 12 at 9-0-3.

Bumping Shaw to right wing on the first line with Toews and Brandon Saad was part of the line shake-up designed by Quenneville in his search for more offense. The Hawks had scored just 10 goals in the previous five games with 5 of them coming in the game at Soldier Field against Pittsburgh.

"I thought it was time to try something different," Quenneville said. "I think our offense has been a little bit light across the board.

"Shaw gives us some sandpaper. I think he's got some skill, as well. I think he knows the scoring area, and he can make some nifty plays. Shaw took advantage of the chance."

Shaw, who has spent most of the season playing center on the third line, hasn't been happy with his play of late. He had no points and was minus-2 in his last five games.

"I got excited and pumped myself up for the game," he said. "But I have to prepare myself to play like that every game. I've got to be first on pucks and be physical, have that competitive edge where I win those 1-on-1 battles and get those loose pucks back."

Shaw's 15th goal of the season came at 16:44 of the first period and snapped a 1-1 tie. He busted in on goalie Sergei Bobrovsky down the right side on a pass from Sheldon Brookbank and put a shot under the crossbar. He got his second goal at 17:44 of the second period to cap the Hawks' 3-goal outburst. Shaw tipped in a shot by Brent Seabrook for his 16th goal.

Toews scored at the eight-minute mark on a tap-in after Saad's sweet feed to make it 3-1, then Bryan Bickell scored on a rebound at 12:29. Bickell's goal was the Hawks' fourth on 18 shots, chasing Bobrovsky.

Toews' second goal came early in the third period on a power play.

"It's good for us to get back on track," he said. "That's a hardworking, simple team that doesn't give up much, and we went out there and we worked hard and we skated and we wore them down and eventually we just got plenty of scoring chances."

Brandon Bollig's seventh goal opened the scoring at 4:12 of the first period. Bollig tipped a pass from Marcus Kruger through Bobrovsky. The play was reviewed, but Bollig's stick was ruled to be even with the crossbar.

Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards wasn't pleased with his team's performance.

"At this stage of the season, we can't be saying, 'Well, we'll bounce back from this,' " Richards said. "Listen, every game is important. Every point is important. The way it is right now at Game 63 or whatever it is that we've played, we should be in tune with our game.

"You might be off a little bit, but this was nowhere close to where we can play and where we should be playing."

•Follow Tim's Blackhawks and hockey reports on Twitter @TimSassone.

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