Duncan Keith will try to make the best out of being suspended for the Blackhawks' next five games

"I'm going to use it as best I can to get rest and be work out with (strength and conditioning coach) Paul Goodman," said Keith, who was suspended Friday for his elbow to the jaw of the Canucks' Daniel Sedin during Wednesday night's 2-1 overtime victory. "Hopefully, I can use it to my advantage."

The rest of the Hawks' defense is going to try to make the best of it as well as it forges ahead without its top blueliner during a critical juncture of the season. Keith leads all Hawks — and is tied for first in the NHL — with an average of 26 minutes, 53 seconds of ice time per game. The onus now falls on defenders Brent Seabrook, Nick Leddy, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Dylan Olsen, Johnny Oduya and Sean O'Donnell to absorb the minutes of the former Norris Trophy winner.

"You can't replace a guy like that," said O'Donnell, who largely will be given the task of doing just that. "Everyone steps up. Sometimes other guys play more and in more situations they wouldn't normally play and they get more confidence. Sometimes for a short term these aren't bad things. I think you'll see the 'D' elevate their game to make up for the loss of Duncan. It's only five games so I think we'll be OK."