Coach Q not fretting over Keith's playing time

Duncan Keith was on the ice for 34 shifts and played just a tick over 30 minutes Tuesday night in New Jersey.

But for Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville it was well worth it because his two-time Norris Trophy came through late with a goal in the final minutes of regulation to send the game to overtime before the Hawks snuck out with a 3-2 shootout victory.

“Every game is different; we're playing to win every game,” Quenneville said of Keith's season-high minutes. “Some nights you can back off a little bit.

“As far as him getting taxed, he's accustomed to it. He likes the big minutes.

“We'll see how every game goes, but certainly cutting back to about 20 minutes — that's ideal — but then again he doesn't mind playing 27, 28 minutes.”

Sealing the deal:

After giving away a ton of points last year in shootouts (6-8 record) and overtime (1-7), the Hawks have reversed the curse so far this year.

They are 4-0 in the shootout and 5-1 overall including OTs this season, and remain one of only two teams without a shootout goal against.

“You've got to be prepared for it and take it really seriously when you have the chance,” said Jonathan Toews, who along with Patrick Kane scored in the Hawks' shootout win Tuesday. “We have great goaltending and guys who want to be out there and want to score.

“It was nice for us to end that one quickly.”

Just doing his job:

After recording his second consecutive victory Tuesday, goaltender Scott Darling was asked if he's looking to make a statement that perhaps he belongs with the big club on a full-time basis.

The youngster didn't bite.

“No, I'm not looking at it like that,” Darling said. “Whenever they ask me to play, I'm going to do the best I can.

“It's out of my control.”

He said it:

“I got better as the game went on. For the first couple of periods my timing was a little shaky, but I don't think that was from missing hockey; I think that was from playing on the opposite side (right wing).”

— Patrick Sharp, assessing his play in Tuesday's win over New Jersey after playing in his first game since Nov. 4

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