A ‘good chance’ Hjalmarsson and Oduya play Thursday

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The Chicago Blackhawks could have a new defensive pairing Thursday at home to Anaheim.

New for this season at least.

According to head coach Joel Quenneville, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Johnny Oduya have a “good chance” of playing against the Ducks.

Hjalmarsson has missed the last four games with an upper-body injury, while Oduya (ankle) has yet to suit up for the ‘Hawks since being traded from Dallas.

The two veteran defensemen formed an effective shutdown pair when the ‘Hawks won the Stanley Cup in 2013 and 2015.

“They work well together, and around the net they’re extremely capable,” Quenneville said, per NHL.com. “They kill penalties well together, and that familiarity should return quickly.”

“Hammer’s probably the top defensive player league. Any chance you get to play with someone like that, I think that’s a good thing,” Oduya said, per CSN Chicago. “You need to produce the results too. I don’t think you want to live in whatever you think you’ve done before. I think all of us want to move forward. You want to get better. I want to know the guys in the room and kind of fuse into the group as much as I can even though I’ve been here before. It’s going to be a little bit of a learning process, but I want it to be as quick as possible.”

If Quenneville does indeed reunite Hjalmarsson and Oduya, expect Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook to form the top duo.

The question then becomes about the third pairing, where options include Brian Campbell, Michal Kempny, Trevor van Riemsdyk, and Michal Rozsival.