Thursday, April 17, 2014
The Associated Press
BOSTON - Marian Hossa, one of the Chicago Blackhawks' top scorers with three winning goals this postseason, is expected to play in Game 4, according to Coach Joel Quenneville.
Hossa was a surprise scratch from Game 3 with an upper-body injury.
ONE OF the most lopsided stats in the Stanley Cup finals has been Boston's domination of faceoffs, including Patrice Bergeron's 24-4 edge in the Bruins' 2-0 victory in Game 3.
Boston has won 57 percent of the faceoffs while opening a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
"When we're winning draws the way we are right now, it's big for a team," forward Brad Marchand said. "You're with the puck a lot more. It's always nice to start with it than chasing it. We create a lot of opportunities from that. We really have to give our centermen a lot of credit. They're doing a great job."
Bergeron led the NHL with a 62.1 percentage in winning faceoffs in the regular season. He has won more than 65 percent (63 of 96) in the series.
"Twenty-four and four on the faceoffs yesterday, which is an incredible stat," Bruins forward Milan Lucic said. "That's a part of the game that he takes a lot of pride in and that we take a lot of pride in as a team. Every pregame skate, I know the guys are working on faceoffs."
Blackhawks forward Dave Bolland also noted the discrepancy and said Chicago would work on eliminating it. Playing in Boston, where Bergeron has the advantage of being allowed to put his stick down last, makes it even more difficult.
"We've got to be better," Bolland said. "We will be better."
HAVING A MAN advantage against the Bruins isn't much of an advantage.
They haven't allowed a power- play goal in their last seven games while facing some top scorers -- Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin with the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane with Chicago.
The Bruins have killed off 27 straight penalties, including all 11 in the three games against the Blackhawks.
Chicago was scoreless on five power plays Monday night.
"Our penalty kill's done a great job for the whole playoffs and all year," Lucic said. "I don't penalty kill so it's nice to see them doing a great job out there."
Chicago has been scoreless on its last 20 power plays.
DOUGIE HAMILTON spent his 20th birthday watching the Stanley Cup finals. He'd rather be playing in them.
Hamilton, the Bruins' rookie defensemen, was in street clothes Monday night.
After a regular season in which he played 42 of the 48 games, and then seven of the first 11 playoff games, Hamilton hasn't suited up for any of the last eight, including the four-game sweep of Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference finals, followed by the first three games against Chicago.
So what has Hamilton, the 6-foot-5, 2011 first-round draft pick learned?
"I've learned that it's not fun not playing," Hamilton said Tuesday. "It's been kind of tough in ways, but at the same time you're just trying to have fun and enjoy it. I think it's a pretty exciting opportunity to start the year in junior hockey and you're two (wins) away from the Stanley Cup."
He still figures in Boston's plans for the future despite his current idleness.
"I now know what it's like to go this far in the Stanley Cup finals, and see what it's like and the schedule and how guys play and things like that. So I think it will only help me," he said.
GAME 3 DREW the most viewers for the NHL on NBC Sports Network since the cable channel started televising the league in 2006.
Game 3 averaged just over 4 million viewers, topping the 3.96 million for Boston's overtime victory in Game 2. It's nearly double the 2.1 million for the second finals game on the network last year, Game 4 between the Devils and Kings.