Andrew Shaw set for top line opportunity

CHICAGO -- Andrew Shaw had to wait 145 games for his second chance to join Jonathan Toews on the Chicago Blackhawks' top line.

Shaw spent his first career NHL game alongside Toews on Jan. 5, 2012. Shaw scored his first career goal off an assist from Toews in that game. Then he was separated from Toews in the Blackhawks' next game and hasn't played on the top line with him since.

That will change Thursday against the Columbus Blue Jackets as Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville decided to shake up his lines and combine Toews, Shaw and Brandon Saad on the top line in hopes of sparking the team's struggling offense.

"I think our offense has been a little bit light across the board," Quenneville said Thursday. "I think we've had some major stretches, where the pucks were going in for us. Lately, not at the same rate. Just felt it was a good time whether to get [Shaw] more production or [Patrick Kane's] line to get more production.

"[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. I think the three of them can complement each other in different ways."

Shaw, who was previously on the third line, hasn't been pleased with his play as of late. He has zero points and a minus-two rating in his last five games.

Shaw said he thought the key was getting back to his scrappy game.

"I got to be first on pucks and be physical, have that competitive edge where I win those one-on-one battles and get those loose pucks back," Shaw said. "The last two games I haven't had that, so I got to get back to that."

Shaw is hopeful playing alongside Toews and Saad would assist in getting back his edge.

"It's a big opportunity," Shaw said "I just got to go out and work and get back to my gritty self, go to the net and create room for those two guys out there."