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Stanley Cup Final notes: Marian Hossa's status still a mystery

The specifics of injury that sidelined Chicago wing Marian Hossa in Game 3 loss to Boston remain unclear. Coach Joel Quenneville says he's likely to play in Game 4.

June 19, 2013|By Colleen Kane, Chris Kuc and Brian Hamilton, Chicago Tribune

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BOSTON — The mysterious circumstances behind the injury that sidelined Chicago wing Marian Hossa for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final remain, so much so that Blackhawks center Dave Bolland wasn't even sure if he'd seen Hossa around.

"No, I don't know if I've seen him," Bolland said, the day after Hossa was a late scratch because of an upper-body injury.

Coach Joel Quenneville wouldn't reveal the nature of Hossa's injury or when it occurred, but he did shed light on the veteran's status for Game 4 on Wednesday night at TD Garden.

"I'm going to say [Hossa's] likely to play," Quenneville said.

The Blackhawks missed the veteran's stalwart two-way play during a 2-0 loss to the Bruins on Monday night that dropped them into a 2-1 hole in the best-of-seven series.

Ben Smith replaced Hossa in the lineup despite not having participated in warmups and said afterward he was scrambling to get warm and ready after being informed he'd play just prior to puck drop.

Dennis a menace

Zdeno Chara, Boston's 6-foot-9 captain, casts a big shadow, and fellow defenseman Dennis Seidenberg's contributions are sometimes lost in it.

The Bruins let Seidenberg know his work didn't go unnoticed Monday, awarding him the camouflage jacket that goes to their player of the game.

Seidenberg had a game-high six blocked shots and four hits in 25 minutes 4 seconds of ice time to help goaltender Tuukka Rask get his third shutout of the playoffs.

"That's my job," said Seidenberg, who usually plays alongside Chara. "I haven't really been scoring, doing anything offensively. I better do that stuff. It's fun. I enjoy playing tough minutes and doing the little things, just like everybody else in this room."

The 31-year-old Seidenberg also logged the most minutes on the Bruins' penalty-kill unit, which shut down the Blackhawks on five power plays.

"He very much deserves the credit," Chara said. "He logs a lot of minutes. He plays a physical game. He's willing to play whatever role we ask him to do. For sure he's a warrior."

Bruins Coach Claude Julien credited his pro scouts for latching on to Seidenberg in 2010 after he had played with four other teams since 2002.

"[They] had noticed one thing — that he always played well in big games, had the great stats," Julien said. "Every year in the playoffs, he becomes a horse. You can't tire him out. He wears guys down. He's strong physically."

He said it

Julien spoke about the Bruins' plans to neutralize Blackhawks wing Patrick Kane, who has one assist in the series.

"I don't think we've targeted anybody that way," Julien said. "What we do as a team is we target the other team. What I mean by that is we have to close the gaps quickly. Any time a team has a transition game like the Chicago Blackhawks have — great skaters, speed, skill — it's important we close quickly."

Gaining entry

Starting the power play has been as difficult for the Blackhawks as finishing on power plays. They haven't been able to gain the zone with any consistency against a Bruins team clogging the zone.

"It's tough to get a clean entry," Quenneville said. "I think we might have to get a little indirect plays to get possession."

Said winger Patrick Sharp: "Without getting too technical, I like to think we've got a quick team with guys that can make plays and we've got one more guy than they do. I guess it really doesn't matter, Xs and O's, it's just a matter of doing it."

sports@latimes.com

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