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Blackhawks make changes to D pairs for Game 5

by Shawn Roarke /

CHICAGO -- Desperate times have brought about desperate measures for the Chicago Blackhawks, who completely re-imagined their defense pairs for Game 5 of the Western Conference Final.

Trailing the Los Angeles Kings 3-1 in the best-of-7 series and facing a must-win in Game 5 at United Center on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS), the Blackhawks broke up the top pair of Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook in attempt to reverse a three-game losing streak in which they have allowed 15 goals.

Second-pair defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson was promoted to play with Keith, and Seabrook was paired with Nick Leddy, who usually plays on Chicago's third defense pair. The Blackhawks' third pair for Game 5 was Johnny Oduya and Michal Rozsival.

This is the first time the Blackhawks have changed their defense pairs in this series. It's also the first time the top four has looked different since Seabrook returned from a three-game suspension against the St. Louis Blues in their Western Conference First Round series.

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