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Blackhawks unsure about Oduya for Game 4

by Brian Hedger

CHICAGO -- After playing 11 shifts and 7:37 in the first period, Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya played five shifts in the second and seven in the third in a 3-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final at United Center on Monday.

Oduya left the game after his final shift of the second with 7:44 left in the period and didn't return until the third. He played a total of 16:47.

Asked about Oduya's status after the loss, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville made it sound as though there might be an injury.

"We'll see [Tuesday] how he presents," Quenneville said.

If it turns out to be something that sidelines or hampers Oduya, it could be a problem for Chicago heading into Game 4 at United Center on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Quenneville was already playing his top four defensemen close to 90 percent of the time after a season-ending ankle fracture sidelined veteran Michal Rozsival in the last game of the second round.

Oduya is joined in that top-four group by Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Niklas Hjalmarsson. They could really be taxed if Oduya is injured.

The effects may have started in the third period of Game 3, when Lightning forward Ondrej Palat beat Oduya to a loose puck near the Blackhawks net and turned it into a goal that tied the game 13 seconds after Brandon Saad gave Chicago a 2-1 lead.

Rookie Trevor van Riemsdyk picked up the extra shifts Oduya normally handles in the third. It was his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut, and van Riemsdyk played 9:01 in his first NHL action since Nov. 16 after coming back from two injuries. He played 4:25 in the third, which was almost as much as he logged in the first two periods combined.

"I'm just going to be ready for whatever," van Riemsdyk said. "Coach told me just to stay prepared, and whatever that means, I've done as much as I can just to get myself prepared and back to 100 percent."

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