Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

April 20, 2014

NHL: Blackhawks try to regain footing without Seabrook

Chicago defenseman suspended three games for vicious hit on Backes

(Continued)

"I saw them talking to him. It makes it a little more gutless," Blues forward Ryan Reaves said. "I don't think there's any need for that. He doesn't even know where he really is. I think if they want to start getting into that battle, we can play the same way. We'll see where it takes us."

Quenneville said he did not see or hear any players taunting Backes after he went down.

In addition to the hit by Seabrook, Hitchcock also was upset by Bryan Bickell's knee-on-knee collision with Blues center Vladimir Sobotka in the third. He said the Blackhawks forward was involved in a similar play with defenseman Alex Pietrangelo in the first.

"That part bothers me more than the hit on David, a hit that went array," Hitchcock said. "The hit on Sobotka was a continuation of what happened to Petro in the first period."

Here are five things to watch in Game 3 of this increasingly testy series:

HOME SWEET HOME

The Blackhawks went 11-2 at home in the playoffs last year, outscoring the Wild, Red Wings, Kings and Bruins by a combined score of 41-23. They went 27-7-7 at the United Center this season, including a 2-0-1 mark against the Blues.

"You just feed off of it," Quenneville said. "It'll be exciting to get back here, get some of the positive vibes off it and look to turn this thing around."

VLADIMIR THE GREAT

Tarasenko missed the last 15 games of the regular season with a broken right thumb. But the 22-year-old Russian forward caused all sorts of headaches for the Blackhawks in the first two games of the series.

The speedy Tarasenko had a first-period goal in the playoff opener, and then had the tying power-play score in Saturday's victory. With Seabrook out for the next three games and Backes' status in question, Tarasenko could take on a more prominent role for the rest of the series.

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