suntimes
BUMPY 
Weather Updates

Blackhawks are used to playoff adversity

Defenseman Duncan Keith battling for puck with Blues’ Vladimir Tarasenko led Hawks with 40:59 ice time Game 1. | Getty

Defenseman Duncan Keith, battling for the puck with the Blues’ Vladimir Tarasenko, led the Hawks with 40:59 of ice time in Game 1. | Getty Images

storyidforme: 65173562
tmspicid: 23323051
fileheaderid: 11374556

Updated: May 20, 2014 6:14AM



ST. LOUIS — The first real test of the Blackhawks’ renowned postseason fortitude already is here.

Less than 40 hours after playing more than 100 minutes of hockey in Game  1 and getting outhit 42-27 in a 4-3 triple-overtime loss to the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night on the road, the Hawks will face the Blues in a Game 2 matinee Saturday (2  p.m., Ch. 5) at the Scottrade Center.

“You try to get as much sleep as you can, but I think everyone feels really good right now,’’ goaltender Corey Crawford said. “We’re in good shape, and we’re ready to go. We have that hunger — a little bitter taste. We had opportunities to win [Game 1] . . . a bunch of opportunities in overtime. We’re ready to go for Game  2.’’

Defensemen Duncan Keith (40:59), Niklas Hjalmarsson (40:04), Brent Seabrook (37:37) and Johnny Oduya (36:33) had the most ice time, while Jonathan Toews (32:37), Marian Hossa (29:33) and Patrick Sharp (29:31) led the forwards.

But heavy workloads are nothing new to the Hawks. They were 12-3-3 in the second game of back-to-backs, including a loss in the season finale when they were not at full strength.

And they had one of their best performances of the playoffs last season in the second game of a rare postseason back-to-back in the Western Conference finals against the Kings. After a physical Game 1 in which they were outhit 44-38, the Hawks scored four goals in the first 30 minutes to send Kings goalie Jonathan Quick to the bench in a 4-2 victory in Game 2 at the United Center.

Hawks not backing down

In Game 1, the chippiness nearly boiled over on a couple of occasions. Brandon Bollig and Bryan Bickell led the Hawks with six hits apiece, but Hjalmarsson got the best shot in with a big hit on David Backes in the third period.

The Hawks, who were outhit in 20 of 23 playoff games last year, were unfazed by the Blues’ physical play — though it remains to be seen if the physical toll makes an impact later in the series. But they are not backing down.

“It’s what we expected,’’ Toews said. “I think we can work on returning the favor a little bit. But for the most part, we did a good job of staying away from the stuff after the whistle and finding a way to draw penalties.’’

Oshie out — for now

Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said he expects injured forwards T.J. Oshie and Patrik Berglund to play in this series, but he played it coy when asked about their availability for Game 2.

“I didn’t see them,’’ he said Friday afternoon. “Until somebody taps me on the shoulder and says he’s a game player, he’s out. Our lineup’s going to be fluid every day.

‘‘We’re going to have everybody playing at some [point]. That means by Game 4 we expect everybody to be ready to go.’’

Email: mpotash@suntimes.com

Twitter: @MarkPotash



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.