Blackhawks' Shaw on incredible header: It was just a reaction

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw heads the puck into the goal during overtime in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals against the Anaheim Ducks in Anaheim, California. The goal was disallowed.

    Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw heads the puck into the goal during overtime in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals against the Anaheim Ducks in Anaheim, California. The goal was disallowed. Associated Press

  • Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw, left, scores past Anaheim Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen Tuesday during the first period of Game 2 of the Western Conference finals in Anaheim. The Blackhawks later won in triple OT, 3-2.

    Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw, left, scores past Anaheim Ducks goalie Frederik Andersen Tuesday during the first period of Game 2 of the Western Conference finals in Anaheim. The Blackhawks later won in triple OT, 3-2. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 5/20/2015 6:45 PM

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Andrew Shaw used every part of his body -- his legs, his feet, his arms ... and yes, even his head -- to help the Blackhawks emerge with a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Anaheim in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals. After 116 minutes and 12 seconds of play, the game ended at 1:08 a.m. Wednesday morning (Chicago time).

Other than Marcus Kruger's game-winning goal that ended the longest game in team history, the play everybody was talking about afterward was Shaw's head-butting of a puck a period earlier that led to a premature celebration by the Hawks.

 

"It was just a reaction," Shaw said. "Do whatever you can to get that puck across that line."

It did that, but officials quickly ruled no goal and the teams battled on deep into the night. Hawks coach Joel Quenneville joked that Shaw may have used the players' pregame ritual as inspiration.

"That was crazy. I haven't seen that," Quenneville said. "Probably got that from the soccer before the games; he doesn't want to let it hit the ice. It's one of those instinct plays."


According to the rules, a player cannot use a deliberate motion with his head or skate to put the puck into the net. Shaw wasn't sure how the ruling would play out, but he thought he deserved credit for style points.

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"If anyone can pull it off," he said, "I think they should call it a goal just (for) how cool it is."

This was easily the best game of the postseason for the gritty, hard-nosed Shaw. The 5-foot-11, 179-pound agitator threw his body around with as much force and energy as any of the 200-pound-plus Ducks and also established that net-front presence the Hawks said they wanted to see more of after Game 1.

Shaw gave the Hawks a 1-0 lead just 2:14 into the game when he deflected a shot from Duncan Keith. It was the first of 2 power-play goals by the Hawks in the first 6:19.

"He wanted to score, wanted to be the difference maker," Jonathan Toews said after the team flew back to Chicago on Wednesday. "Obviously was one of the guys leading the way for us throughout overtime yesterday.

"Great to see out of him. He's playing with energy. He's playing like we know he can. We need everyone to be following that type of lead. It's just the way he is."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Shaw finished with a team-high 7 shots on goal and won 5 of 9 faceoffs in his ice time of 25:33. Even more important, he played with the fire and determination that has defined his game since becoming a regular in the 2012-13 season.

The 24-year-old admitted he looked in the mirror before Game 2 and vowed to give more of himself.

"You don't get opportunities like this very often and I think that just clicked in my head," Shaw said. "I needed to step up my game. Just coming into tonight's game I knew that I had more in me and I wanted to give more and help the boys out."

Quenneville was asked Wednesday if it was one of Shaw's best performances.

"I think he was effective in a lot of ways, entertaining in another way (laughter)," Quenneville said. "That line (Kruger, Shaw and Andrew Desjardins) was effective, as well. Dangerous in some ways. Useful in a lot of ways. Shawsy was at the net and effective as well."

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