The Blackhawks recalled center Brandon Pirri from Rockford of the AHL on Monday before embarking on a six-game West Coast road trip. The Hawks have lost three straight games, and have scored just one goal in each of their last two games, so Pirri could provide an offensive spark. In 24 games with the Hawks earlier this season, he had six goals and five assists, thriving offensively on a line with Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad. But Joel Quenneville didn’t feel Pirri’s defense was up to par, and eventually dropped him to the third line before demoting him to Rockford on Dec. 4.
“No matter what line he’s on, we know what he’s capable of,” Quenneville said shortly before that demotion. “We want him to progress defensively. Offensively we know he’s going to be fine.”
Pirri, the AHL’s leading scorer last year and Rockford’s all-time leading scorer, had four goals and nine assists in 16 games with the IceHogs. He suffered a lower-body injury on Dec. 30 and missed eight games before returning last week.
Pirri gives the Hawks some needed depth at forward. Bryan Bickell was a healthy scratch Sunday night against Winnipeg, benched by Quenneville, who resorted to using defenseman Michael Kostka at right wing on the third line.