CHICAGO -- Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith got into a prolonged scrap Tuesday just as the Blackhawks were starting their morning skate at the United Center.
It wasn't clear what precipitated the scrap or when it began, but with reporters in the stands, Toews and Keith began wrestling and had to be separated by assistant coach Sheldon Brookbank.
Neither player appeared to throw a punch, but Keith ended up on the ice with his jersey pulled over his head. The practice began on time and without further incident.
Tuesday's game against Joel Quenneville's Panthers is one of the most anticipated regular-season games in recent memory. Quenneville coached the Hawks for 11 seasons, winning three Stanley Cups.
Keith was not at his locker after the morning skate. Toews was available and -- with a grin on his face -- attempted to downplay the incident.
"Just a little friendly wrestling," Toews said.
"Ah, you know, we're ready to go," he said. "It's a big game tonight and I think that's the whole point of coming out for morning skate is to get yourself ready to go for tonight's game. And we're ready now."
Coach Jeremy Colliton smiled and shrugged it off when asked about the scrap.
"You got a brother?" he asked a reporter. "I do too. And I've got two boys at home, so I've seen that movie before."
The Panthers played the Wild last night in Minnesota and were not at the United Center this morning.
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