BOSTON Marian Hossa was on the ice during warm ups and the Blackhawks seemed primed to challenge the Bruins in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.
When the puck dropped Hossa was nowhere to be found and the Hawks' chances at squaring up the series seemingly disappeared with him.
Looking out of sorts without one of their top players the Hawks sputtered offensively hung on for dear life in the defensive zone and were a train wreck on the power play and in the faceoff circle before eventually succumbing to the Bruins 2 0 in front of a crowd of 17 565 at TD Garden.Related Blackhawks Stanley Cup playoff videos Photos Blackhawks Bruins Game 3 Replay Hawks Bruins combined fan chat Another power failure for Hawks Video Blackhawks' Stalberg on his return See more stories Maps TD Garden 100 Legends Way Boston MA 02114 USA
The Bruins grabbed a 2 1 edge in the series with Game 4 on Wednesday night in Boston.
It's something we were prepared for all day that he might not play captain Jonathan Toews said of Hossa who is considered day to day with an upper body injury. It happens sometimes. You're missing one of your best players and you've got to find a way to play without him.
The Hawks were unable to find that way as they didn't muster much offensive pressure on Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask who made 28 saves to record his third shutout of the playoffs and 19th overall in his career. The Hawks' goal less skid reached 122 minutes 26 seconds as they fell for the second consecutive game and now must find a way to halt the Bruins' momentum or face a deep hole before returning to Chicago for Game 5.
We had a lot of the play and pushed the pace and it just seemed like for whatever reasons we can't capitalize on our chances defenseman Duncan Keith said. Time is running out. We have to get a goal. We just have to come out with a big game next game and find a way to get a win.
History is not on the Hawks' side as teams capturing Game 3 after splitting the first two games of the finals have gone on to win the Stanley Cup 84 percent of the time since the best of seven format was adopted in 1939.
Daniel Paille and Patrice Bergeron scored to provide the offense and Rask did the rest for the Bruins as he bested Hawks goalie Corey Crawford (33 saves).
The Hawks went 0 for 5 on the power play and have failed on all 11 opportunities with a man advantage in the series. Also not helping matters was a dreadful night in the faceoff circle as the Hawks lost 40 of 56 draws including 6 of 7 on the power play.
It's about us Toews said. We've just got to be hungrier for the puck sometimes. And on the power play we can help each other out more keep more plays alive and not let them break out of their zone so easily.
Bruins coach Claude Julien put together a line of Paille Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin during Game 2 and it continued to pay dividends when Paille scored to give the Bruins the lead early in the second.
Dave Bolland couldn't corral a puck deep in the Hawks zone and Paille pounced on it spun and beat Crawford to the glove side.
Later in the period the Hawks ran into penalty troubles and it cost them. Moments after an 11 second two man advantage ended Jaromir Jagr sent a terrific cross ice feed through traffic to Bergeron who was camped by the left post. Bergeron fired it past a lunging Crawford and that was more than enough offense for the Bruins.
Especially against a team like Chicago you've got to go hard every shift Bergeron said. Our start was something we talked about and we carried that on into the second and third periods as well. Obviously it wasn't perfect by any means but at this point of the year you've got to take the wins and move on and focus on the next game.
It remains to be seen whether that next game will include Hossa. Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said after Game 3 We're hopeful he'll be ready for (Game 4).