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updated: 5/29/2014 1:09 AM

Second line hardly plays second fiddle

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  • Blackhawks left wing Brandon Saad scores in the first period during Game 5 of the Western Conference finals at the United Center on Wednesday night.

      Blackhawks left wing Brandon Saad scores in the first period during Game 5 of the Western Conference finals at the United Center on Wednesday night.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

  • Andrew Shaw (65) and Patrick Kane react to Brent Seabrook's first-period goal during Game 5 of the Western Conference finals at the United Center on Wednesday night.

      Andrew Shaw (65) and Patrick Kane react to Brent Seabrook's first-period goal during Game 5 of the Western Conference finals at the United Center on Wednesday night.
    Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

 
 

Talk about getting just the boost you're looking for.

That's just what Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville got from his re-constituted second line of Patrick Kane, Andrew Shaw and Brandon Saad.

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"I think we can be a big threat," Saad predicted following Wednesday's morning skate. "He put us together for a reason -- to bring that energy along with some skill.

"If we play our game and come out fast we should do a good job."

That they did. Kane added to the mix nicely with 3 assists as the Hawks jumped out to a 3-1 lead midway through a wild first period. Kane ended up with 4 assists on the night.

The trio combined for 9 points as the Hawks staved off elimination with a 5-4 victory in double overtime.

"We had a big night," Saad said afterward. "It feels good to get the offense going.

"We've got some chemistry in the past. I think we came out flying and working hard tonight. We have skill on our line. If we work hard, the rest is going to take care of itself."

That's more like it:

Niklas Hjalmarrson feels like a free man. Finally.

The Hawks' defenseman, who took a puck to the throat early in the Minnesota series and had to wear a neck guard and was ordered not to speak, now is free to talk and is gleefully sans the extra equipment as well.

"It's great to finally take the neck guard off; it's been really annoying to be playing with that," he said. "It's great to finally throw it in the garbage. I didn't play with it last game for the first time."

Hjalmarssson, who has been able to talk for about a week now, is excited he can turn it up to another level out there on the ice. "Yeah, I'm able to scream again, and that's good," he said.

Spraying to all fields:

According to the Associated Press, Los Angeles police are investigating a battery report from a fan who says Hawks goalie Corey Crawford sprayed water in his face during the waning moments of Game 4 against the Kings at Staples Center.

TMZ reported that 27-year-old Kings fan Clark Wong, who was later escorted out for heckling, claimed he was sprayed by Crawford.

While Crawford wasn't available for comment after Wednesday's morning skate, the Kings had plenty to say about the incident.

"Good luck with that," defenseman Alec Martinez said. "I guess it's just like the disclaimer they give that pucks can leave the ice surface, I guess water and other (things) can too ... it just comes with the territory."

As for the heckling, Crawford's certainly not alone.

"I hear stuff all the time," Drew Doughty said. "I feel like I get booed in a lot of arenas. It doesn't bother me. It's kind of cool in its own way, I guess.

"There's this one guy in Anaheim who always sat in the same spot and after every shift he was continually calling my name, trying to chirp me, chirp me, chirp me.

"I've had times where I thought, 'That was a good one' and I've laughed to myself, but not let him know I'm laughing, for sure."

Nice touch:

The Sassone family attended Wednesday's game as guests of the Blackhawks.

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