Niklas Hjalmarsson can’t verbally communicate with his Chicago Blackhawks teammates right now, a result of his taking a shot to the throat in Game 2. Still, teammates say he couldn’t help himself a time or two.

“I think I heard him yell a few times last night,” Patrick Kane said. “So maybe that's the energy of the game or the adrenaline that you get from playing.”

Still, for the most part, Hjalmarsson is silent, and has to remain that way for a bit. But be it through some signs on the ice or through intuition, the communication between the Blackhawks and their defenseman remains fine.

Hjalmarsson just went about his business on Tuesday night, playing more than 17 minutes and blocking four more shots to add to his NHL postseason-leading total of 34. Nobody was surprised that Hjalmarsson’s game continued despite the lack of verbal communication.

“It's a different situation getting hit in the neck. But he came out, did what he had to do, still played great and still did what he does for our team,” Kane said. “So, I think that's one of the guys you really respect come playoff time, you know, blocking shots. He did it again in the first period, where he blocked one and it looked like he was down and out, and came back and played. He's been doing that a long time for us."

Of course, that blocking came with more pain on Tuesday. Hjalmarsson hobbled off after blocking a shot off his ankle but, again, played through it. Coach Joel Quenneville said Hjalmarsson’s instincts get him through this voiceless time.