Versteeg scatched for Blackhawks for Game 1

Friday, 05.02.2014 / 9:53 PM

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent / Blackhawks-Wild series blog

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Versteeg scatched 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.

Kris Versteeg
Left Wing - CHI
GOALS: 0 | ASST: 2 | PTS: 2
SOG: 6 | +/-: 0
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."

Versteeg, who scored 12 goals and had 24 assists in 81 regular-season games, played the first five games against St. Louis and had two assists. He has 14 goals and 25 assists in 62 career playoff games, including the Blackhawks' 2010 Stanley Cup championship run.

After being traded for salary-cap purposes the following offseason, Versteeg was re-acquired Nov. 14 in a trade with the Florida Panthers in exchange for forward Jimmy Hayes and defenseman Dylan Olsen. Chicago also got forward Philippe Lefebvre in the trade.

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For six months, it's a really good accomplishment. But as soon as April [11, the end of the regular season] comes around, no one thinks about the regular season anymore. For six months, it's a real battle to get into the playoffs in the NHL these days. There are a lot of good teams, and it takes consistency over a long time.

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