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Hawks' struggling 'D' takes a big hit
By Tim Sassone | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 3/14/2010 8:28 PM | Updated: 3/15/2010 12:00 AM

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According to sources, Blackhawks defenseman Brian Campbell likely will miss at least the rest of the regular season with a broken collarbone and possible rib damage.

Campbell was injured in the first period Sunday after Washington's Alex Ovechkin pushed him into the end boards from behind.

Ovechkin received a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct, but that hardly means much to the Hawks, who now must go on to the playoffs without one of their top four defensemen.

Hawks coach Joel Quenneville wouldn't discuss specifics of the injury following the game but didn't deny it could be significant.

"Soupy is going to be out for a bit here, so we'll see how that works itself out," Quenneville said. "We'll get a better assessment as we go along here. The length or the time, we'll have a better determination moving forward."

Washington coach Bruce Boudreau defended Ovechkin's hit on the vulnerable Campbell, who was a few feet from the boards with his back to Ovechkin.

"I thought it was a push from the side," Boudreau said. "You can see (Campbell's) numbers, but it wasn't a dead-on to the boards. Campbell was turning, I thought, and Alex didn't extend his arms, he pushed him. Sometimes you don't realize how strong Alex is.

"I hope he's OK, but I didn't think it was a bad check worth a five and game. I though it was worth two (minutes), at the most, but this is the coach of Alex saying that."

Hossa to travel: Marian Hossa didn't play Sunday because of an upper-body injury but will make the trip to Anaheim. Kim Johnsson also sat with an upper-body injury and likely will make the road trip, according to Joel Quenneville. Ben Eager was a healthy scratch.

Norris showdown: Probably the two leading candidates for the Norris Trophy as the NHL's best defenseman were on the ice Sunday. Duncan Keith of the Hawks played more than 32 minutes and was minus-1 with 3 hits and a blocked shot. Washington's Mike Green played more than 30 minutes and had 2 assists, 4 hits and a blocked shot.

Tip-ins: The Hawks had been 6-0 in overtime before Sunday's 4-3 OT loss to Washington. ... The Caps became the NHL's first team to reach 100 points, with the victory giving them 101.