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Thursday, February 27, 2014
Keith happy to be back with Hawks

By Mike Mazzeo
Special to ESPNChicago.com

NEW YORK -- Duncan Keith is ready to put on a Chicago Blackhawks sweater again after winning the gold medal with Team Canada in Sochi, Russia.

"I feel pretty good," Keith said at Madison Square Garden, where the Blackhawks will take on the New York Rangers on Thursday night in their first game following the Olympic break.

Keith
After a few days of rest following the Olympics, Duncan Keith is ready to get back on the ice with the Hawks.
"Obviously, it takes a few days with the jet lag, but I'm excited to be back with the guys and get going."

Keith, 30, now has two gold medals, after winning his first in Vancouver in 2010. He's also won two Stanley Cups.

"I'm pretty happy," he said. "It was a privilege to be on that team with so many good players."

Keith (three goals, 45 assists) has been a workhorse all season, averaging 24 minutes, 32 seconds of ice time (19th in the NHL) as a top-pair defenseman for Chicago. He averaged 21:06 of ice time in six games for Team Canada.

"It's nice to have a couple days to adjust and get the body somewhat back to normal," said Keith, who rejoined the Blackhawks at Thursday's morning skate. "It feels good to be back skating with the guys and be out there."

After facing the Rangers, the Blackhawks head back to Chicago, where they will participate in an outdoor game Saturday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Soldier Field.

"Like you said, it's just off to the races right away," he said. "I think it's a good thing to get back in the swing of things hard and fast."

• Keith and his partner on defense, Brent Seabrook, guest-starred on Tuesday's episode of the NBC Drama "Chicago Fire."

"It was fun," Keith said. "I don't think I'll be quitting hockey anytime soon to become an actor. But it was a lot of fun, it was cool. The people on the set were really nice."

How many takes?

"Not that many," he said. "We were there for a couple hours. I thought we did a good job being we're first-time actors."

• Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said he believes the key for his team -- which features 10 Olympians -- will be to put a lot of shots on net. Rangers backup goaltender Cam Talbot, who gets the start Thursday in place of Team Sweden's Henrik Lundqvist, hasn't played in a game since Feb. 6.

• Quenneville said he wants recently acquired second-line center Peter Regin to just be himself and trust his instincts. This will be Regin's first game playing with Patrick Kane.