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Leddy-Keith ‘D’ duo seems to be working

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM



NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Rookie defenseman Nick Leddy sounded like the teenager he is when asked what it has been like to play with Duncan Keith on the Blackhawks’ blue line.

“It’s awesome,” Leddy said. “He’s such a great player, and he makes people better when you play with him. It’s just a lot of fun. It’s a good thing to learn from him, too.”

It’s an odd pairing considering the two are similar, but coach Joel Quenneville likes what the smallish but quick puck-moving duo has been able to do the last few games.

“Nick has some patience with the puck, and Dunc plays his game,” Quenneville said. “Offensively, there are a lot of good things, and the puck possession with that pair is helped out as well. Nick is getting better defensively. . . . He’s very composed for a young kid. Dunc helps him along the way as well.”

There are concerns how Leddy will handle things, especially in the defensive zone, as the playoff race intensifies. But Leddy feels he has gotten better by playing with Keith.

“It’s how he recognizes the plays, how patient he is with the puck, without the puck [and] in [defensive] zones,” Leddy said. “On 2-on-1’s, you can tell just how patient he is, and he waits for the other guy to make his first move, and he’ll react to that.”

Slap shots

Fernando Pisani (concussion) has been cleared to play, but he was a scratch against the Predators on Thursday night. Nick Boynton (upper-body injury) did not participate in the morning skate Thursday.

† The Hawks’ game March 13 game against the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center will be televised nationally on NBC at 11:30 a.m.



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