Blackhawks’ Rozsival steps up with Duncan Keith suspended

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No Duncan Keith. No problem.

The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the L.A. Kings 3-2 Thursday night, taking a 3-1 series lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference final, with defenseman Michal Rozsival making a key contribution and logging some heavy minutes.

With Keith suspended one game for slashing Kings’ forward Jeff Carter in the face in Game 3 of the series, the 34-year-old Rozsival had 25:28 of ice time in Game 4.

Consider this: he hadn’t played more than 16 minutes in a game this series, until Thursday.

In Game 4, he didn’t register a point, had only one shot on goal and had an even rating. But the Blackhawks got the win, pushing the defending Stanley Cup champs to the brink of elimination.

“Any time you get over 20 minutes, you know you played more than 20 minutes,” Rozsival told after the win.

“I was feeling tired, obviously, because I wasn’t used to playing that much, but the excitement of the game and everything that surrounds it gives you an extra energy boost, definitely.

“I never feel tired after a win. After a loss I feel tired. I don’t care how much I play; if we win I feel great.”