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One day after Duncan Keith returned to the lineup from a groin injury, the Blackhawks lost another key player in Thursday's 4-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets. And he's going to be out for a bit.

Brandon Saad exited with 8:19 remaining in the second period after taking a hit from Jets defenseman Luca Sbisa and falling awkwardly on his right leg. He went straight to the locker room and did not return, with the Blackhawks calling it a right ankle injury.

Head coach Jeremy Colliton told reporters in Winnipeg there's no exact timeline for Saad, but he's expected to be miss "a couple weeks."

  

This will be a difficult injury for the Blackhawks to overcome.

Saad has been the top possession player on the team and ranks second with 11 goals. He's been a fixture on the first line since the start of November and has arguably been their most consistent forward of the season with Saad recently saying, "this is some of the best hockey I've ever played."

Saad has played in 567 games throughout his nine-year NHL career and has missed only 12 games. He's as durable an athlete as they come, so being on the sidelines isn't something he's used to.

It's unclear whether the Blackhawks will make a call-up ahead of Saturday's game against the Colorado Avalanche, but if they don't, expect Dylan Sikura to draw back into the lineup and play a top-nine role after being a healthy scratch for the last five games.

 

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