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Blackhawks' Leddy benched after Game 2 struggles

Sunday, 05.04.2014 / 8:48 PM

By Brian Hedger - Correspondent / Blackhawks-Wild series blog

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Blackhawks' Leddy benched after Game 2 struggles

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy appears to be in coach Joel Quenneville's doghouse again.

After he played the most of any player on either team in the first period of Chicago's 4-1 victory Sunday against the Minnesota Wild, Leddy ended up with a total of 13:48 ice time in 15 shifts; he played 46 seconds in the third period.

After Minnesota forward Cody McCormick scored at 2:00 of the third to cut the Blackhawks' lead to 2-1, Leddy didn't play another shift. The 23-year-old defenseman couldn't stop a cross-ice pass that led to the goal, but that play might've been a "last straw" situation after he struggled with turnovers for much of the game.

Leddy played 7:59 in the first period, which was one second more than Minnesota defenseman Ryan Suter for most in the game to that point.

The Blackhawks lead the best-of-7 Western Conference Second Round series 2-0, with the next two games at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Leddy, who's from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, struggled against the Wild a season ago in a Western Conference Quarterfinals series. Those issues persisted for the rest of the playoffs, to the point Leddy was being held on the bench for long stretches in the Stanley Cup Final against the Boston Bruins.

It should be noted, however, that Leddy's play in the third period of Game 6 against the Bruins seemed to give the Blackhawks a spark when they were trailing 2-1. Forwards Bryan Bickell and Dave Bolland eventually scored the tying and game-winning goals within 17 seconds of each other in the waning moments of regulation to clinch the championship.

Leddy, who's played on the third defense pairing all season, came into the game with two assists and a minus-1 rating in the 2014 playoffs. He finished the game without a point or shot on goal; he blocked three shots.

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