Game 5 between the Blackhawks and Wild begins at 8 p.m. on CNBC, or you can watch via NBC Live Extra's live stream here. And don't forget to flip over to Comcast SportsNet after the game for Blackhawks Postgame Live, which will also be streaming on CSNChicago.com here.
Peter Regin was patiently waiting for another opportunity.
The Chicago Blackhawks center was playing well at the end of the regular season. But when the playoffs started, with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane returning to the lineup, the numbers game left Regin on the outside looking in. Now, however, he’s getting another chance.
Regin was centering the fourth line during the morning skate, and will be there tonight when the Blackhawks host the Minnesota Wild in Game 5 of their second-round series. The Blackhawks are down two forwards right now, with Andrew Shaw out hurt and Brandon Bollig suspended the next two games.
It’s not the most ideal way to break into a lineup, but a chance is a chance. The biggest concern is Regin shaking off the cobwebs after being out of the lineup since the end of the regular season.
“We’ll see tonight, but I feel good. We’ve skated real hard and all the guys that haven’t played, that’s kept us in good shape,” said Regin, who centered Joakim Nordstrom and Ben Smith on Sunday morning. “I’m sure I’ll be a little jittery the first shift but after that I’m sure I’ll be fine.”
Regin was playing solid minutes as the regular-season ended, part of a third line with Bryan Bickell and Jeremy Morin. He was a plus-3 in his final four regular-season games. Regin said he just had a different mindset at that point.
“I think I was playing with a little more speed and not thinking too much. That’s how we want to play,” Regin said. “It kind of took a little time to get used to but I thought at the end I kind of caught up to it.”
Coach Joel Quenneville said the Blackhawks are looking for some quickness and responsibility with and without the puck, something the team struggled with in Minnesota. The Blackhawks also need to find some consistency, or at least some solid minutes played, along their fourth line.
The fourth line’s play hasn’t been the same as last postseason or even the regular season, when Bollig, Marcus Kruger and Smith were effective on both ends of the ice. Regin said the group has to be smart and contribute when it can. And if he adds some points, great.
“I know I have to play well but I don’t feel the pressure that I have to score a goal or I’ll be out again. That’s not my role, either; but I’m going to try as hard as I can to score a goal,” Regin said. “I’m going to try to just be myself and play the way I know I can. I think I can bring some speed to the game; that’s kind of my thing, that I can skate. So I’m going try to skate as much as I can and try to be in the right positions and hopefully good things will happen.”