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updated: 4/23/2014 11:09 PM

Bickell leads the hit parade

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Now that he's skating alongside Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews on the top line, there's no question big Bryan Bickell knows his role.

"I definitely need to make room and just give notice to the 'D' that I'm coming every shift and if we're chipping the puck in, give them that second thought in their head that I'll finish my checks and hopefully we get some turnovers," he said. "To give those two the puck and have me make room for them? I'll take that all the time."

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Bickell has been a hit machine thus far, posting a team- and season-high 8 hits Monday and ranking second in the NHL with 21 hits.

"It gets me in the game," he said. "The goals and points will come, but the most important thing is getting the wins."

Bickell notched his first goal of the postseason late in the third period, tying the game at 3 with just under 4 minutes to go in regulation.

Under the radar:

With all the talk about David Backes, and whether he would or wouldn't return to the lineup for Game 4 (he wouldn't), lost in the shuffle a bit Wednesday was the announcement that the Blues will be without forward Brenden Morrow for the rest of the series with a lower body injury.

"That impacts a lot of things," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said after Wednesday's morning skate.

Morrow, who had 13 goals and 12 assists this season, averaged 12:35 of ice time in the and was held without a point in the two games he played in this series.

Loving it:

What's it like heading into a hostile building during the playoffs?

For Patrick Sharp and the Hawks, the answer is awesome.

"I think our team in the past has fed off that crowd, fed off that anger," Sharp said. "You can really feel it and see it in some of the fans' faces.

"I think that hostile environment is really fun to play in. I think some of the Blues players will say the same thing about coming to the United Center. We're lucky right now to have two great buildings, and when you're at home you want to feed off the energy and if you're on the road and the fans hate you ... I think you can build off that as well."

That's more like it:

After a rough start to the season, the Hawks' penalty kill has been rolling, including holding the Blues' power play to a paltry 1-for-16 heading into Game 4.

"I think the second half of the season we started to play way better on the kill," Niklas Hjalmarsson said. "We found our way back like it was the year we won the Cup.

"The second half has been really good and especially now in the playoffs, I think we've been doing a great job. It's been a big factor in a lot of the games. I just hope we can continue."

He said it:

"The time for message-sending is over."

-- Ken Hitchcock on the absence of the rough stuff after the first two games of the series.

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