Duncan Keith puts ban behind him

Updated: June 8, 2013, 4:11 PM ET
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith expressed remorse again Saturday for causing injury to the Los Angeles Kings' Jeff Carter with a high stick in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals and was ready to move on from the incident after serving a one-game suspension.

Keith swung his stick upward and connected with Carter's face after Carter took a short hack at Keith's hand while he bent down to pick up his glove. Carter fell to the ice and later required 20 stiches. He also chipped a tooth and cracked a few others.

Keith was previously suspended five games for an illegal hit on the Vancouver Canucks' Daniel Sedin in 2012.

"I don't feel good about having repeat offender on there," said Keith, who spoke to the media Saturday morning for the first time since the suspension was announced. "It was a play that you obviously would like back. To me, it's over with now. I'm excited about the hockey game now. I play as hard as I can every game, play to win. I think you ask my teammates they appreciate the fact what I bring as far as competitiveness.

"I said at the time that I didn't mean to get him where I got him. I know it doesn't look good. I'm glad that he's back playing for them. It doesn't matter [what] my opinion on the decision suspending me was."

Keith wasn't sure whether the Kings would retaliate against him for his action to Carter because he thought they had taken shots at him throughout the series.

"I get run at every game," Keith said. "Game 2 of the series I got hit pretty hard, I think it was Game 2, by Dustin Brown. It happens almost every game."

The Blackhawks defeated the Kings 3-2 without Keith in Game 4 on Thursday. Defenseman Sheldon Brookbank, who hadn't played in the playoffs, replaced Keith, and other defensemen played more minutes than usual.

"I know we got a lot of great players in this room, too, especially when you look at our D core," Keith said. "Guys step up, guys move into different [roles], play a few more minutes. That's all it was. Definitely feels good we won."

Keith will return to the team's lineup for Game 5 on Saturday. The Blackhawks will have a chance to close out the series with a win at the United Center and advance to its second Stanley Cup final since 2010.

"I'm looking forward to the game [Saturday night], knowing it's going to be the biggest game of the series," Keith said. "I want to play a good hockey game."

Keith has one goal, nine assists, a plus-5 rating and has averaged a team-high 24:44 of ice time in 15 playoff games this season.

Scott Powers is a general 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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