Blackhawks’ Keith among elite company for playoff assists

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With one more assist, Duncan Keith would tie Bobby Orr for the fourth highest total for assists in one playoff by an NHL defenseman, which means he’s among elite company.

The 31-year-old Keith has 18 helpers in these playoffs for the Chicago Blackhawks, who find themselves in a 2-2 series tie with the Tampa Bay Lightning for the Stanley Cup.

According to the NHL, there are only four defenseman in league history with more assists in one playoff than Keith. That list includes Paul Coffey (25 in 1985); Al MacInnis (24 in 1989); Brian Leetch (23 in 1994); and Orr (19 in 1972).

With a maximum of three games remaining in this series, it may be too much for Keith to break Coffey’s record, set 30 years ago.

But the post-season Keith — already a two-time Stanley Cup champ and two-time Olympic gold medalist — has put together puts him into the conversation for the Conn Smythe Trophy.

It could be that Keith joins Orr for fourth all-time on the aforementioned list, and perhaps even passes him Saturday when the Blackhawks face the Lightning in Game 5.

Of course, Keith would probably prefer a win for his team.