Blackhawks' Campbell could return vs. Panthers

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Blackhawks' Campbell could return vs. Panthers

Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Posted: 3:53 p.m.

By Tracey Myers
CSNChicago.com

Defenseman Brian Campbell was feeling the usual rust and other not-quite-there feelings when he came out after practicing on Tuesday.

I havent skated too much so Im a little winded. The timings a little off, but overall I felt pretty good, said Campbell, who could play Wednesday after dealing with a foot injury sustained March 8 against Florida.

Im not going to say 100 percent (about Wednesday). If I can play Ill play, he said. Ill just see how it is in the morning and go from there.

READ: Blackhawks hopeful Sharp can make quick return

Campbells return was a welcome sign for the Blackhawks, who were already without Dave Bolland (concussion) and now have lost Patrick Sharp (left knee). Campbell said he was tripped up in the Florida game when he was injured. He started in the Blackhawks shootout loss to the Washington Capitals on March 13, but could only play half the game.

I thought it was going to be pretty good but just couldnt go with how I felt, he said. I left my teammates in a tough spot and I was disappointed that way. I had to give it some time to rest and get back.

Its lingering, its going to be around, Campbell said of his injury. I just have to deal with it.

Defensive mindset

With the Blackhawks down a couple of forwards, they will have to get back to the hard-hat mentality that got them through their December games without Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane.

And staying strong defensively is going to be key.

At this time of the year, going into the playoffs, thats the type of hockey necessary for winning teams, Quenneville said. When we think we want to outscore teams is when we get ourselves in a lot of trouble. We got carried away being up three goals and loosened our defensive game a bit. We have to tighten that up.

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Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook will be paired again. The duo, who were separated for a while, were back together as the Phoenix game progressed on Sunday.

Its going to be a tough matchup game in and out and they thrive on that. Thats what made them so successful as a partnership and theyre looking forward to the challenge, Quenneville said.

No change in Bolland

Dave Bollands status has not changed as the center has shown just some progress from the concussion he sustained in Tampa on March 9. Quenneville said he talked with Bolland on Tuesday about it.

Its probably frustrating and disappointing that he cant really say exactly when hes going to get on the ice or give us an idea of when to expect him back, Quenneville said. We see some signs of encouragement in his case, but right now we just wait and see.

Hendry talks

Jordan Hendry had successful surgery last week to repair to the torn ACL he suffered against the Phoenix Coyotes on Feb. 27. Hendry said he knew immediately that something was wrong that night.

I hurt my knee in college once, and I knew when (Phoenix captain Shane) Doan hit me I knew what it was, he said. I think I knew right before I hit the ice that I was hurt. Think I knew it wasnt good. I just kind of lay on the ice and felt the pain.

Hendry cant do much with the knee right now, until the swelling goes down and mobility returns. Hendry is an unrestricted free agent this summer, but said hes not looking that far ahead.

Im focused on now, he said. Im just get ready for the next step. The last time I had this I bounced back and had a great season, so Im not worried about that.

Tracey Myers is CSNChicago.com's Blackhawks Insider. Follow Tracey on Twitter @TramyersCSN for up-to-the-minute Hawks information.

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Comfortable Kero: Quick hits from Blackhawks-Penguins

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USA TODAY

Comfortable Kero: Quick hits from Blackhawks-Penguins

PITTSBURGH – Well, that looked more familiar, didn’t it?

The Blackhawks put talk into action on Wednesday night, storming out to an early lead and never letting up in a 5-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins. They’re sitting in a good spot right now, sporting a nine-point lead over the Minnesota Wild – yes the Wild still has that game in hand – and, with five games remaining, they once again played the complete game they’d been missing.

The schedule doesn’t let up, so let’s get to the notables.

What Worked: The Blackhawks’ first period. If there’s such thing as a statement 20 minutes, the Blackhawks made it in Pittsburgh. If the Penguins made a bad pass, the Blackhawks turned it into an opportunity and, a few times, a goal. The Blackhawks had a similarly sharp first period against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday. On Wednesday, however, they didn’t lose any steam later.

What Didn’t Work: The power play. Yeah, you really have to reach to find something that didn’t work for the Blackhawks in this one. Their power play, however, didn’t do much. Their best chance on it was a Jonathan Toews shot on their second power play; that shot was blocked before it got to Marc-Andre Fleury. Their third power play, which came on a phantom tripping call on Conor Sheary, was their quietest of the night.

Star of the game: Tanner Kero. The kid’s been alright at second-line center, and he did a little bit of everything on Wednesday night. Kero had five shots on goal, the secondary assist on Artemi Panarin’s early goal and added a breakaway goal of his own early in the third period. He also won five of 11 faceoffs. Centering Patrick Kane and Panarin could be daunting but in his short time there, Kero’s handling it very well.

He Said It: “It’s a nice opportunity that he’s taken advantage of in a short amount of time. You get a little more defensive responsibility. The upside with him is we wanted him to get better offensively as well, so it’s been a good couple of games.” Coach Joel Quenneville on Kero.

By the Numbers: 

850 – Career coaching victories for Quenneville.

524 – Career goals for Marian Hossa, who scored his 25th of the season late in the first period.

39 – Time, in seconds, in which the Blackhawks scored two goals late in the first period (Marcus Kruger at 19:05 and Marian Hossa at 19:44).

6 – Consecutive victories for the Blackhawks over the Penguins. They’ve outscored the Penguins 20-8 over that span.