Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NHL [Print without images]

Thursday, June 6, 2013
Sheldon Brookbank a go for Game 4

By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com

LOS ANGELES -- Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Sheldon Brookbank replaced suspended defenseman Duncan Keith in the team's lineup against the Los Angeles Kings in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals on Thursday night.

The NHL announced Wednesday that Keith had been suspended for one game for high-sticking Jeff Carter during Game 3. Keith has averaged a team-high 24:44 of ice time during the playoffs. He also has one goal, nine assists and a plus-5 rating in 15 playoff games.

Brookbank had one goal, a minus-2 rating and averaged 12:45 of ice time in 26 regular-season games this season, but has been a healthy scratch throughout the playoffs.

"I know he's excited," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said of Brookbank on Thursday afternoon. "I know he's been excited to play every game we've had in the playoffs. You got to commend him on the way he's prepared for this day. He's practiced very well. It's a great opportunity for him."

The 32-year-old Brookbank signed a two-year deal with the Blackhawks in July after spending the previous 3 ½ seasons with the Anaheim Ducks. He and Michal Rozsival, also signed in the offseason, often took turns being a healthy scratch for the Blackhawks during the regular season, but Rozsival has remained in the lineup throughout the playoffs. Brookbank has played in 17 career playoff games.

"I'm ready," Brookbank said on Wednesday. "I had another stretch in my career where I didn't play for a while, too. I feel like I'm ready to go. ... It's not easy staying with it and staying ready, but it's part of this job. It's one of the reasons they brought me here.'

The Kings won 3-1 in Game 3 to cut the Hawks' series lead to 2-1.