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Consistent Dowell relieved to be back in action

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM

It was puzzling to begin with. Center Jake Dowell had been one of the Blackhawks’ most consistent players — and often was praised by coach Joel Quenneville for it — but he was sitting and watching.

Dowell returned to the Hawks lineup Friday against the Senators after being a healthy scratch the last two games and being benched in the third period of a loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday.

‘‘No one wants to sit and watch,’’ Dowell said. ‘‘All you can do is really learn from it and just wait for your time and do what you’re told, work hard, try not to bring too much bad energy about not playing and kind of wait for your opportunity and [then] get back in and do what you’re supposed to do.’’

Quenneville said scratching Dowell ­ — who has 15 points and an impressive plus-10 rating and has been in seven fights this season — was a matter of numbers with the Hawks healthy and him wanting to try different lineups. But not once did he really criticize Dowell.

‘‘It’s obviously good to hear that no one is mad at you or it’s something you can’t change,’’ said Dowell, who played 10:56 on Friday with two hits and two blocked shots. ‘‘That’s good to know, but nobody wants to be [not playing].’’

Leddy back again

Nick Leddy said he spent time in Rockford ‘‘working on plays in the corner and being better in front of the net.’’ He apparently did enough to warrant more time with the Hawks and was on the ice for 15:41 on Friday with two shots.

‘‘He’s played well there all year,” Quenneville said. ‘‘The World Juniors was good for him as well. . . . He played well when he was here earlier. The consistency is something he added.’’

Leddy, 19, won a bronze medal with Team USA at the World Junior Championships. He had two assists and a plus-1 in five games.

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