One more game, and the Chicago Blackhawks will have linchpin defenseman Brent Seabrook back in the lineup. The St. Louis Blues aren't certain when captain David Backes, the player on the receiving end of the jarring hit that landed Seabrook a three-game suspension, will be ready. Coach Ken Hitchcock said from a selfish standpoint it would be unfair if Seabrook returned before Backes to a white-knuckle first-round playoff series tied at two games apiece heading into Game 5 Friday night.
Backes was not among a handful on the ice for an optional practice Thursday and Hitchcock was tight-lipped about his status. The Blues still have home-ice advantage in a series that couldn't be closer.
Three games were decided in overtime and Game 3 was a one-goal affair before the Blackhawks added an empty-netter.