If the Chicago Blackhawks are going to end the Los Angeles Kings' perfect postseason on home ice in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals, they'll have to do it without their top defenseman.
Duncan Keith will sit out Thursday under a one-game suspension for high-sticking Los Angeles' Jeff Carter. Keith hit Carter with a one-handed blow in the second period of the Kings' 3-1 victory in Game 3, opening a 20-stitch gash on the star forward's face and cracking three of his teeth.
Chicago has a 2-1 series lead and could take control with a win in Game 4, but the uncertainty of Keith's fate hung over both teams' practices Wednesday. Keith is enormously important to the powerful Blackhawks, easily leading the club in ice time and ranking third in playoff scoring with 10 points.
Sheldon Brookbank, the likely candidate to take Keith's place in the Blackhawks' lineup, hasn't played in the postseason.
''It's been our strength pretty muc...