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Posted On Sunday, 05.04.2014 / 2:09 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Shaw out for Blackhawks in Game 2

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks will be without forward Andrew Shaw on Sunday against the Minnesota Wild at United Center in Game 2 of a Western Conference Second Round series (3 p.m. ET; NBC, TSN, RDS).

Shaw has a lower-body injury that knocked him out of Game 1 midway through the first period after he absorbed a big hit by Wild defenseman Clayton Stoner along the boards in the offensive zone.

"He's a competitive guy," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "We love his style and we like what he brings to our team. He's a hard-working type of guy and [gives a] relentless type of an effort game in and game out. So we'll fill his shoes today and expect him back."

Chicago leads the best-of-7 series 1-0.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.03.2014 / 4:43 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Blackhawks have rare series lead, want more

CHICAGO -- By this point, the Chicago Blackhawks are old pros at overcoming the odds to win series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Entering the Western Conference Second Round against the Minnesota Wild, which started Friday at United Center with a 5-2 Chicago win, the Blackhawks overcame deficits in three of their previous four series to win, dating to the 2013 playoffs.

They came back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Semifinals. They came back from a 2-1 deficit to beat the Boston Bruins in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final. This year, they climbed out of a 2-0 hole to beat the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference First Round.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.03.2014 / 3:52 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Injured Shaw questionable for Blackhawks in Game 2

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw is questionable to play against the Minnesota Wild on Sunday because of a lower-body injury he sustained Friday in the opener of their Western Conference Second Round series.

Shaw, who's been playing right wing on the third line, was hit hard in Game 1 by Wild defenseman Clayton Stoner along the boards in the offensive zone at 10:34 of the first period. He finished the shift before hobbling to the bench and heading to the training room.

He did not return to that game, a 5-2 Chicago win, and Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Saturday that Shaw is questionable for Game 2 on Sunday at United Center (3 p.m. ET; NBC, TSN, RDS), but he labeled it a short-term issue.

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Posted On Friday, 05.02.2014 / 9:53 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Versteeg scratched for Blackhawks for Game 1

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks forward Kris Versteeg is a healthy scratch for Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round series against the Minnesota Wild.

For the second Stanley Cup Playoff game in a row, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville scratched Versteeg following the pregame warmups, opting to play rookie forward Joakim Nordstrom instead.

Versteeg, not Nordstrom, took line rushes at right wing on the fourth line in warmups. Nordstrom was kept off the score sheet in Game 6 of the Western Conference First Round series against the St. Louis Blues when Quenneville did the same thing.

"You just have to get ready for the next one," Versteeg said Wednesday following a practice. "Obviously, you always want to play, but you have to understand what the coach feels and what's best for the team. It's something you want to fight through and come back and be a factor in helping the team."


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Posted On Friday, 05.02.2014 / 4:37 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Wild prep Heatley for Game 1 power play

CHICAGO -- The Minnesota Wild know their power play must be more of a threat against the Chicago Blackhawks than it was a year ago in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and they are hopeful Dany Heatley can help.

Chicago didn't allow a power-play goal against Minnesota in 12 man-advantages during a five-game Western Conference Quarterfinal series.

Wild players who experienced that drought haven't forgotten heading into their Western Conference Second Round series against the Blackhawks that starts with Game 1 Friday at United Center (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

"I thought we got a couple [power-play goals] in the regular season [against Chicago this year] but that's the regular season, it doesn't really matter," Minnesota left wing Zach Parise said. "It did frustrate us last year. I don't think we got one on them the whole series. To me, that's an area that we have to be a lot better at this year."

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Posted On Friday, 05.02.2014 / 3:14 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Bryzgalov gets start for Wild; Harding skates

CHICAGO -- Minnesota Wild goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov will start Game 1 of the Western Conference Second Round series against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday at United Center (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

Bryzgalov relieved Darcy Kuemper with 8:13 left in regulation in a 5-4 Game 7 overtime win against the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference First Round. Kuemper remains day-to-day with an upper-body injury and did not make the trip to Chicago for the start of the best-of-7 series.

"He's going to go get checked out and he's getting worked on, and that's why we have him at day-to-day," Wild coach Mike Yeo said after the morning skate Friday.

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Posted On Thursday, 05.01.2014 / 2:40 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Blackhawks' Toews under the weather, skips practice

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews was sick Thursday and stayed off the ice at practice at United Center.

Toews was the lone Blackhawks player missing at the skate, but coach Joel Quenneville said it's nothing serious. The Blackhawks host the Minnesota Wild on Friday in Game 1 of a Western Conference Second Round series (9:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

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Posted On Sunday, 04.27.2014 / 3:20 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blues-Blackhawks series blog

Versteeg out, Nordstrom in for Blackhawks

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks are throwing a change-up into their lineup Sunday at United Center against the St. Louis Blues in Game 6 of a Western Conference First Round series.

Following pregame warm-up, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville decided to scratch veteran forward Kris Versteeg and play rookie forward Joakim Nordstrom instead.

The Blackhawks lead the best-of-7 series 3-2.

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Posted On Sunday, 04.27.2014 / 2:10 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blues-Blackhawks series blog

Seabrook's return strengthens Blackhawks lineup

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks like to use their rush game to create scoring chances. On Sunday against the St. Louis Blues, they get back an important piece of their lineup.

After missing three games while suspended for an illegal hit in Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round series, Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook will return for Game 6 at United Center (3 p.m. ET, CBC, NBC, RDS). Seabrook is one of the best passing defenders on the Blackhawks, particularly on exits from the defensive zone with direct, accurate stretch passes.

He's also got a big shot from the point and isn't afraid to join the rush from time to time. Seabrook scored a goal and had an assist in each of the first two games against the Blues.

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Posted On Saturday, 04.26.2014 / 5:02 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blues-Blackhawks series blog

Blackhawks benefit from passing on practice

CHICAGO -- The learning process never ends for coaches, and Joel Quenneville of the Chicago Blackhawks is no exception.

He said he learned something the past couple of years that seems to pay dividends for the defending NHL champions during tough stretches of the regular season and Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Less practice between games, Quenneville noticed, is actually a good thing.

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Quote of the Day

[He's] real confident with the puck now, getting it off his stick quick and no second-guessing. We need that. He's such a good guy in the room. He works so hard. That's the big thing. For not a big man, he just fights for every puck and when he scores, the guys appreciate that even more.

— Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice on Mathieu Perreault, who scored two goals in win against Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday