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Stanley Cup Final
At the Rink blog

Homecoming game for a few Hawks

Wednesday, 12.14.2011 / 1:33 PM

By Dan Myers - NHL.com Correspondent / At the Rink blog

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At the Rink blog
Homecoming game for a few Hawks
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- It'll be a homecoming game for a few members of the Blackhawks tonight when they take the ice here against the Minnesota Wild (7:30 p.m. ET, Versus).

Among them is Andrew Brunette, the fourth-leading scorer in Wild franchise history.

He said he's not putting too much stock into his return, however, and hopes to keep the focus on the business of netting points.

"I'm looking forward to getting this game over with," said Brunette, who had 321 points in 489 games with the Wild. "The first one is never a fun one. I really just want to get our two points and get out of here. I think the next time back, it'll be a little different."

Brunette said the atmosphere tonight could be playoff-like.

"I hope so," je said. "When this building gets going, it's one of the funnest buildings in the league to play in."

Also making a return to the State of Hockey is Eden Prairie native Nick Leddy, the Wild's first round selection in the 2009 Entry Draft.

"What he's giving us offensively and defensively is getting better and better," said Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville. "I don't necessarily measure his contribution numbers-wise. When he's playing (well), he's giving us that offense."

Former Wild defensemen Sean O'Donnell and John Scott also will return tonight.
Quote of the Day

That's a really tough thing to play through; when you finally are thrown out there, the game is fast, intense, every single play matters, you've got to find a way to play through that and make smart plays. So it's a huge testament to [Vermette] and some other individuals in our locker room that are putting their own ego, their own wants and needs aside, and are ready for those opportunities when they do come.

— Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews on teammate Antoine Vermette, who returned from being a healthy scratch in Game 3 to score the double-overtime winner in Game 4