Chicago coach Joel Quenneville has a reputation for tinkering with his lines, especially when his club is going through a rough patch.
The Blackhawks will have another different look as they try to snap a two-game skid against the surging Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night in Glendale.
Chicago (20-13-4) won three straight before heading into the league's holiday break with a lackluster effort in a 4-0 loss at Dallas last Tuesday. It wasn't much better when it returned, scoring its only goal with three seconds remaining in a 2-1 home loss to Carolina.
The offense provided plenty of pressure by outshooting the Hurricanes 36-27, but the Blackhawks had trouble burying quality chances and often were out of position when it came to second-chance opportunities.
''I counted about six chances that were either empty net or potential empty-nets that we either misfired or didn't bear down or weren't hungry enough,'' Quenneville said. ''We have to get greasier goals.''
There hasn't been much consistency with Quenneville's groupings, though, outside of Patrick Kane, Artem Anisimov and rookie Artemi Panarin making up the second line for most of the year.
First-line center Jonathan Toews has 11 goals and 11 assists often playing with Marian Hossa, but both have gone through lulls with a constantly rotating linemate on the left wing.
Quenneville held a longer-than-usual practice Monday and had Andrew Shaw on the top line in place of Teuvo Teravainen, who lasted roughly a week with Toews and Hossa and is now back on the third line. He indicated that the play on the ice will determine how long the change will lasts.
On defense, rookie Erik Gustafsson has been called up and David Rundblad – a healthy scratch for the majority of the season – has been placed on waivers.
While those moves are designed to create a spark, the quick turnaround could benefit Chicago even more. The Blackhawks are just 2-4-0 when having three or more days off, and they'll also have one day between games before visiting Colorado on Thursday.
“I think everyone was well-rested, so that should be to our advantage,” Hossa said Sunday after missing the previous two with an upper-body injury. “Obviously, we didn't take advantage. This game, we should've played a little different. We didn't have enough bodies going to the net and sacrificing to get the ugly goals.”
Arizona (17-15-3) hasn't exactly been lighting up the scoreboard during a 3-0-1 stretch, but they're getting positive results. Michael Stone tied it in the third and Mikkel Boedker scored in overtime in Sunday's 2-1 win over Colorado.
Boedker assisted on every goal in a 4-3 overtime loss to Los Angeles the night before.
“He's scored overtime goals, he's had a few of them, so you expect him to be around it,” coach Dave Tippett said. “It's one thing to get the chances, it's another thing to capitalize, and that's what he's done. He's capitalized on his chances.”
Anders Lindback made 37 saves and earned another start over Louis Domingue. The two are sharing duties with Mike Smith out up to another eight weeks with a core muscle injury.
Lindback has lost his last three starts against Chicago with a 4.69 goals-against average and likely will oppose Corey Crawford, who is 2-1-1 with a 2.18 GAA in his last four against the Coyotes.
Chicago has won six of the last seven meetings in Arizona, including the playoffs.