New dad Duncan Keith plans to play

Updated: May 8, 2013, 1:30 AM ET
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith flew to Chicago on Tuesday morning for the birth of his first child and is expected to return for Tuesday night's Game 4 against the Minnesota Wild in their Western Conference quarterfinals series.

"It's an exciting day for the Keiths, and we're happy for him," said coach Joel Quenneville, whose Blackhawks lead the series 2-1. "It sounds like everything went well, so we're happy about the whole situation. That's good seeing and encouraged that he will be here today. That's good news all the way around."

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews wasn't aware Keith would be back for the game until he was notified by a media member.

"I didn't know about that," Toews said. "That's good news for us, too. It's nice for him to probably get off his mind for the day. I'm sure he'll be playing pretty loosely."

Quenneville said he was all for Keith returning home.

"I think family comes first in situations like that," Quenneville said. "We'd want him to be there for his first child (being) born. In this situation, it's an easy decision. I'm very happy he was there in time, and it's all worked out."

Keith had three goals, 24 assists and a plus-16 rating in 47 regular-season games this season. He's had one goal and two assists against the Wild in three playoff games.

Scott Powers is the Blackhawks beat reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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