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Bolland returning for Game 4, Seabrook out

by Dan Rosen
CHICAGO -- Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville announced Tuesday morning that defenseman Brent Seabrook will not play in Game 4 against Vancouver due to an upper-body injury but Dave Bolland will return to Chicago's lineup for the first time since suffering a concussion on March 9.

Bryan Bickell will also return after missing Game 3 with a wrist injury.

Neither Seabrook nor Bolland skated with the Blackhawks at United Center in the morning. Quenneville said Bolland was just preparing for the game. He said Seabrook is still sore from getting hit by Raffi Torres in the second period of Game 3 on Sunday and labeled him as day to day.

The Blackhawks, of course, face elimination Tuesday with the Canucks up 3-0 in the best-of-7 series.

The news on Seabrook came as a surprise considering he said Monday during an impromptu press conference that his body was sore, but he was fine and was going to play Tuesday. Quenneville wouldn't say if his condition went south over night, but the decision not to play him was made Tuesday morning.

Seabrook was crushed by a shoulder-to-head hit from Torres 12:14 into the second period Sunday. The play resulted in an interference penalty for Torres and the Hawks scored a power-play goal. Seabrook returned to play one more shift in the second period roughly 90 seconds after Patrick Sharp scored, but he was hit twice more and went to the dressing room with roughly five minutes to play.

He did return for the third period and wound up playing 21 minutes and 40 seconds in the 3-2 loss.

"Over the course of the last couple of days we were evaluating him and getting to see this morning how things presented; we were hopeful that he was playing tonight, but we made our decision this morning," Quenneville said. "I don't think we disclose everything, but sore can mean a lot of things."

Quenneville would not say for sure who would replace Seabrook in the lineup, but it's likely going to be John Scott, who played Game 3 as a forward. He did say the top five blueliners -- Duncan Keith, Brian Campbell, Chris Campoli, Nick Leddy and Niklas Hjalmarsson will have to absorb more minutes.

"We've got some defensemen that can play minutes," Quenneville said. "The depth of our defense is able to play important minutes, big minutes. We'll share some minutes and responsibilities."

"It doesn't change anything for us," Canucks captain Henrik Sedin said of the news on Seabrook. "It might change something for them. Their Ds are going to play more minutes, but that's part of the playoffs. We'll see how it works out for them."

Bolland hasn't played since suffering a concussion when Tampa Bay defenseman Pavel Kubina hit him in the head on March 9. He has remained optimistic that he would play in this series and Quenneville said he has been ready to go for a while.

"Watching him practice and watching him skate, we think he's been ready to play for a while," Quenneville said. "It's a matter of getting him going, getting him clearance to play. He feels really good about himself, he feels that he can handle responsibility, and he's going to get some."

Quenneville said the Hawks gave no hesitation to play Bolland despite the physicality of the series to date.

"He's ready to play," Quenneville said. "He's a competitor. He likes that kind of game and he finds ways where he can be effective, use his intelligence and his instincts. He likes having a challenge as well."

Bolland has been a thorn in the Canucks' side in previous playoff series. He is usually matched up against the Sedins and has done a good job of frustrating them and limiting their production.

Henrik and Daniel Sedin combined for 3 goals in last year's six-game series against the Blackhawks while Bolland had 2 goals, including one shorthanded. Henrik showed signs of frustration after a while, but he said that won't happen Tuesday night if Bolland tries to get under his skin.

"It's been the same way the whole year and it's not going to change tonight," Henrik Sedin said. "We get a lot of guys doing that to us and it's something we learned to live with. This year you haven't seen that from us, so it's not going to change."

Henrik actually felt Bolland got too much credit from the media for his performance against the Canucks last season.

"He's just another player," he said. "It's one of those things that the media blows up something, but it wasn't a big deal for us and it probably wasn't a big deal for him. We're going to play the same way and we'll see what happens."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
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