Duncan Keith Suspended Game 4: Blackhawks v Kings

 

CHI v LAK - Game 4 Preview

06/06/13

 

The Chicago Blackhawks will face the LA Kings on Thursday without top line defenseman Duncan Keith, who will serve a one-game suspension for high-sticking LA forward Jeff Carter in Game 3. 

 

Keith and Carter got in a bit of a spat behind the play when Carter tapped Keith’s bare hand reaching for his glove.  Keith tried to return the favor by giving Carter a quick one-handed whack with the blade of his stick, but the hit had a little too much “umph” behind it, and Carter fell forward in pain with 20-stitch gash on his face and a few cracked teeth. 

 

Duncan Keith was assessed a double minor on the spot, but the Department of Player Safety announced the one-game suspension after a hearing on Wednesday, citing the hit as “retaliatory”.   

 

Without such a key component to their defense, the Blackhawks will need to bring a lot more to the ice than they managed to display in Game 3 when the Kings remained undefeated at home with a 3-1 victory. 

 

 

Date

Visitor/Home

FINAL

June 4, 2013 (Game 3)

CHI @ LAK

LAK, 3-1

June 2, 2013 (Game 2)

LAK @ CHI

CHI, 4-2

June 1, 2013 (Game 1)

LAK @ CHI

CHI, 2-1

 

 

Bryan Bickell had the lone goal for the Blackhawks in Game 3, tallying his seventh of the postseason, trailing only Patrick Sharp on the Hawks’ roster.  Bickell got a brief nod on the top line in Game 2 for his stellar production, but back on the third line is where the magic has been happening.  In fact, Bickell’s linemates, Andrew Shaw and Michael Frolik, are among the top five post-season goal producers for the Hawks. 

 

Chicago has to come into Game 4 with intention and energy.  There were far too many loose pucks and missed opportunities in front of the net on Tuesday night, and the Hawks lacked the speed they brought to the first two match-ups of this series.  

 

Keys to the game are coming in hot, taking the momentum early, and staying out of the box.  It also wouldn’t be a bad this if the Hawks could create some space around Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, who haven’t had many opportunities to connect puck to net as of late.