Blackhawks forward Andrew Desjardins (11) celebrates with teammates after scoring the Hawks’ first goal in their 4-2 victory over the Predators on Sunday at the United Center. (Nam Y. Huh/AP)

‘Just shoot it’ — Andrew Desjardins’ aggressiveness pays off

SHARE ‘Just shoot it’ — Andrew Desjardins’ aggressiveness pays off
SHARE ‘Just shoot it’ — Andrew Desjardins’ aggressiveness pays off

After sitting out the Blackhawks’ first two playoff games as a healthy scratch, Andrew Desjardins was ready to shoot and score Sunday. More than ready.

“It’s kind of weird,” Desjardins said. “I’m usually not [thinking] like that. I’m not saying I’m not like that [all the time], but my mindset coming in … anytime I got it around the net, just shoot it. Don’t even think about anything else. That’s all I tried to do.”

That aggressiveness paid off for Desjardins on his fourth shift in Game 3 when he fired a shot that went between Pekka Rinne’s legs for a 1-0 lead. It was Desjardins’ first goal with the Blackhawks after going scoreless in 13 regular-season games since being acquired at the trade deadline from the San Jose Sharks for Ben Smith.

“Honestly, I didn’t [know it went] in until Krugs [Marcus Kruger] kind of celebrated because I didn’t have a good view of it,” Desjardins said. “I was fortunate to get in the five-hole. I think [Rinne] would have kicked that one back if he could.”

Desjardins also made an impact on an aggressive shift that preceded Brent Seabrook’s goal that gave the Hawks a 4-2 lead with 7:19 left in the second period.

“You’re just trying to grind out and keep pucks alive,” Desjardins said. “Sometimes you’re rewarded in different ways. That was the case on that one.”

Saad scores

Brandon Saad scored a key tie-breaking goal in the the second period, firing a wrist shot from the top of the left circle past Rinne after a steal at his blue line.

“I knew I beat the D and wanted to create space,” Saad said, “so I got some speed and just tried to get a shot on net and it found a way in.”

Temper flares

Hawks forward Andrew Shaw seemed to be minding his own business on the bench in the final minutes — but might not have been —when Predators center Mike Ribeiro, hemmed in along the boards in front of the Hawks’ bench, punched Shaw in the face.

“In playoff series, things always seem to happen, with competitiveness,” Saad said. “I didn’t see the play but I heard them jawing on the bench. it’s going to be part of the series.”

Ribeiro considered it a non-issue. “It doesn’t really matter. It’s nothing,” he said. “It’s part of the game. There’s no reason to talk about it.”

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