-- Andrew Ladd
got his first crack at the Philadelphia Flyers
in the Stanley Cup Final Friday night and headed to the penalty box 36 seconds in, called for interference. The Blackhawks killed off the penalty.
Chicago defenseman Nick Boynton
will as well, and for him it'll be the first time he's played in the entire 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
After sitting out the first three games of the series with what is thought to be a shoulder injury, Ladd will likely return to his customary spot on the left wing of Dave Bolland
and Kris Versteeg
for Game 4 at Wachovia Center. Adam Burish
is coming out of the lineup and Tomas Kopecky
should move to the fourth line with John Madden
and Ben Eager
Boynton is replacing Jordan Hendry
, who has played only 23:08 over the first three games. Boynton hasn't played in a game since April 9 and he played in only seven with the Blackhawks after being acquired from Anaheim.
Boynton, in fact, hasn't played in a Stanley Cup Playoff game since the work stoppage. The last time he suited up in the postseason was April 19, 2004 when he was with the Boston Bruins
. He will take Hendry's place on the third pair with Brent Sopel
Ladd, who has 2 goals and 1 assist in 16 postseason games, suffered his injury in the first period of Game 4 against San Jose in the Western Conference Final. He did not return for that game and did not workout with the team until Wednesday morning prior to Game 3.
Chicago coach Joel Quenneville
immediately ruled Ladd out for Game 3, but after the Hawks workout Friday morning he left the door open by saying Ladd would be a game-time decision. It was the first time Quenneville said Ladd had at least a chance to play.
said he asked Ladd during the morning skate if he was going to play, "but he wouldn't tell me."
Reports surfaced after the skate that Ladd went to Quenneville sometime Tuesday night to tell him he was 100 percent. He still skated with regular scratches Colin Fraser
and Bryan Bickell
when the Blackhawks did line rushes Friday morning, but that could be because Quenneville hadn't made up his mind yet and didn't want to disrupt his lines.
Ladd also did not take part in the Hawks' line rushes during their pre-game warm-up. Burish was still skating with Madden and Eager. Quenneville again might have needed to see him skate in the warm-up to make his final decision on playing him.
Nevertheless, Ladd will be in the lineup for Game 4, which means the Hawks' checking line that was so good against Vancouver and San Jose will be back in tact. Versteeg said the line was missing the physical element Ladd brings in Games 1-3.
"I think Ladd brings a little more physicality to the game (than Kopecky), but they both go to the net hard and they both have good hands and skill," Versteeg said. "Ladder would definitely add a physical element to the lineup."
Friday's game will not be Ladd's Stanley Cup Final debut. He won the Cup with Carolina in 2006 after playing in all seven games of the Final against Edmonton. Ladd finished that series with 1 goal and 1 assist.
Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl