Duncan Keith to play Tuesday night after witnessing son’s birth Tuesday morning

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Talk about a whirlwind of a day. Chicago Blackhawks defenseman will be in uniform on Tuesday night and will take the ice with this teammates as they face the Minnesota Wild in Game 4 of the teams’ Western Conference quarterfinal series at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn.

Keith was not present for team’s morning skate on Tuesday but he had a more-than-legitimate excuse for his absence: He had flown back to Chicago on Monday night so he could be alongside his wife, Kelly-Rae, to lend his moral support as she gave birth to the couple’s first child, a son, on Tuesday morning.

Holding on to a 2-1 series heading into a critical Game 4 facing the Blackhawks on Tuesday after the team allowed the Wild back into the series by getting outplayed and out-muscled in Sunday’s Game 3, a 3-2 overtime win for Minnesota, the presence of Duncan Keith in the lineup will be welcomed, as he has three points in the series.

And yet, Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville stressed that even during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, family comes first. According a Chicago Tribune report, here’s what Quenneville had to say: “It’s an exciting day for the Keiths, we’re happy for him,” he said. “It’s good. We’re encouraged that he’ll be here today. So that’s good news all around.”

“Family comes first,” Quenneville added. “A situation like that, we’d want him to be there for a first child’s birth. In this situation, it’s an easy decision. We’re very happy that he was there in time and it all worked out.”

Still, one can only imagine just how severely Keith’s head is spinning. Although if anyone notices a smile on Keith’s face during a stressful Game 4, we’ll know why.

(image via Ms. Blackhawks)

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