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Third, fourth lines deliver vs. Coyotes
By Tim Sassone | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 12/7/2008 10:43 PM

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It was hard to tell the Blackhawks' top two lines from the third and fourth in Sunday's 7-1 rout of the Phoenix Coyotes at the United Center.

Fourth-liner Ben Eager scored 2 goals while linemate Colin Fraser added a pair of assists.

The third line of Andrew Ladd, Dave Bolland and Martin Havlat accounted for 2 goals and 6 assists.

"I thought Ladd had a great game and that line was very effective for us," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said.

"If you're a great team in this league, you have to have four lines that you can roll and score goals," Ladd said. "If guys on the top two lines aren't able to put the puck in the net, you have to have guys step up."

Eager now has 5 goals, which is 2 more than Dustin Byfuglien and 2 fewer than Havlat.

"It was nice to get a couple chances like I did," Eager said. "Our line tries to show up every night and spend as much time as we can in the other end."

Craig Adams, Eager's linemate, fought Coyotes tough guy Daniel Carcillo 11 minutes into the first period when it still was scoreless.

"That was a big moment for us," Patrick Sharp said. "He took on a trough guy, a guy who fights for a living and is pretty good at it, so that sparked the guys on our team. I think that was a turning point to see him step up for us."

Sore loser: Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky thought it was unfair for Kris Versteeg to fight his rookie Kyle Turris with two seconds to play. The 19-year-old Turris suffered a bloody nose in the scrap that only happened because a Coyotes player poked at goalie Cristobal Huet after a whistle.

"I'll argue at that time there's nothing premeditated," Joel Quenneville said.

Versteeg received a game misconduct for instigating along with a fighting major.

Forget about it: While various media outlets claim the Hawks still are in the mix to sign free-agent center Mats Sundin, it's likely not going to happen, according to a source close to general manager Dale Tallon. Not only do the Hawks have serious salary-cap issues, there is concern how Sundin would be welcomed into the close-knit dressing room now three months into the season.

Tip-in: Dale Tallon said the decision would be made this week whether to send James Wisniewski to Rockford for a few games of conditioning before he returns from off-season knee surgery to the Hawks' defense.