By Chris Kuc
While his teammates battled the Capitals down on the ice, Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith was perched in the relatively safe environs of the Verizon Center press box Friday night.
It was a healthy Keith who wore a suit instead of a uniform as the Hawks played the first of back-to-back games to conclude the regular season. Having been locked into third place in the Central Division already, the Hawks began the balancing act of trying to maintain momentum versus resting some of their top players in advance of the postseason.
“Certain players on the team that have been around long enough deserve that right to have a rest,” winger Brandon Bollig said. “Guys need their rest, especially going into a big grind like the playoffs.”
With their top defenseman among those scratched, the Capitals — a team with nothing to play for but pride after falling short in a bid for a berth in the Eastern Conference playoffs — skated circles around the Hawks during a 4-0 victory that snapped the defending Stanley Cup champions’ four-game winning streak.