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Blackhawks' Duncan Keith offered in-person hearing, could be suspended into playoffs

Chicago will be without its top defenseman.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith has been offered an in-person hearing for high-sticking Minnesota Wild forward Charlie Coyle during Tuesday's game, the NHL's Department of Player Safety announced Wednesday.

The incident occurred at 9 minutes, 27 seconds of the first period. Keith was assessed a five-minute major penalty for high-sticky for intending to injure. Keith swung his stick with his right hand and connected with the face of Coyle, who left the game with a cut across the bridge of his nose. Coyle later returned, but Keith did not.

Keith, 32, has nine goals and 34 assists this season.

It will be the third suspension Keith will serve. He served a one-game suspension during the 2013 Western Conference Final fora high-sticking infraction against the Los Angeles' Kings Jeff Carter in Game 3, and five games for elbowing Vancouver Canucks' forward Daniel Sedin in 2012.

It also won't be the first time the Hawks will have to play without the two-time Norris Trophy winner this season. The Hawks went 5-4-1 during a 10-game stretch without Keith from Oct. 20 to Nov. 12 after he had knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. One of those losses was a 3-1 defeat at Winnipeg.

Blackhawks' remaining schedule

Winnipeg Friday Winnipeg
Boston Sunday Chicago
Arizona April 5 Chicago
St. Louis April 7 Chicago
Columbus April 9 Columbus