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CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks held an optional morning practice on Sunday in advance of Game 2 of their best-of-seven series against the Nashville Predators.
Afterwards Joel Quenneville confirmed he will reunite Brent Seabrook and Duncan Keith as his top defensive pair. Brent Sopel and Niklas Hjalmarsson will be teamed together, while Dustin Byfuglien and Jordan Hendry will be re-united as well. The latter two played a couple games together towards the end of the regular season.
“I’ll probably play the more defensive role with him,” Hendry said. “I’m excited to play with him tonight.”
Practice on Saturday had changes on the forward lines as well but Quenneville said Sunday morning “we’ll see what happens” in regards to the lines.
The lineup changes aren’t the Hawks’ big concern. Solving the Predators defensive system is. Hendry summed it up in one sentence. “They protect the middle of the ice really well and they’re good in their defensive zone too, so I think we have to get the puck deep and keep it out of the middle,” he said.
Most Hawks felt the first 40 minutes of Game 1 were fine. The final 20 were, obviously, not.
“We’ll learn from it,” Kris Versteeg said. “We’re a confident group. We’ve been through adversity as a team before.”NOTES: