-- Blackhawks left wing Andrew Ladd laid a hit on Rob Blake just past the 10-minute mark in the first period Sunday and didn't return for the rest of Game 4. His injury was not disclosed by the team, though coach Joel Quenneville did say he expects that Ladd will be fine to play in the Stanley Cup Final, whenever it does begin.
On Sunday, though, the Blackhawks felt Ladd's loss.
Down a winger, Chicago was forced to adjust on the fly. The top line of Jonathan Toews
, Patrick Kane
and Dustin Byfuglien stayed together, but Marian Hossa
, Ben Eager, Troy Brouwer and John Madden all took shifts with Kris Versteeg and Dave Bolland
, Ladd's linemates.
It really wasn't until the Blackhawks were down by two goals that they finally started finding a rhythm with the line changes.
"Coach was throwing guys out there to fill the hole and whoever had the chance was jumping," Hossa said. "We were short one guy, but everybody got into the tempo with shorter shifts and we just kept going."
Ladd was on the ice, wearing a sweatshirt and shorts, with his teammates for the post-game celebration. He played only four shifts totaling 2:14 of ice time.
Whatever his injury is, Ladd will have at least a few days to heal before the Stanley Cup Final begins.
"We had 'Mad Dog' (Madden) get up on the left wing and Eager made a big play on the second goal," Versteeg said. "We know we have guys that can step up. Obviously Laddy was a big loss, but I'm sure he'll be fine and ready to go for the next round."Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
Author: Dan Rosen | NHL.com Staff Writer