BOSTON (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks suffered a key loss moments before a scoreless first period of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals when Marian Hossa was scratched from the lineup after being hit by a puck during warm-ups on Monday night.
Hossa was tied for the team lead with 15 playoff points and was third on the Blackhawks with 17 goals during the regular season. The right wing also has three game-winning goals in this year’s playoffs.
Ben Smith, who played just one game this regular season and none in the playoffs, replaced him in the lineup.
The Bruins had a much better first period than they did in their 2-1 overtime win on Saturday night that evened the series 1-1. They were outshot 19-4 in that period before regaining the momentum in the second period and keeping it for much of the rest of the game.
Both teams played carefully Monday, wary of making costly mistakes, as the tight nature of the series continued after the first two games were decided in overtime.
Boston outshot Chicago 11-10 in the first period and had three good scoring opportunities while shorthanded after Shawn Thornton was penalized for roughing at 14:15.
Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask had little trouble stopping Chicago’s shots.
The Blackhawks’ power-play troubles continued as they failed to score on two extra-man opportunities. The first came when Kaspars Daugavins, playing because Gregory Campbell broke his right leg in the Eastern Conference finals, was sent off for roughing at 9:57.
Campbell attended Monday’s game with a cast on his leg.
Chicago is 0 for 8 on power plays in the best-of-seven series and 1 for 26 in nine games.
Game 4 of the best-of-seven series is Wednesday night in Boston.
Besides Hossa, there was one change in the lineups from Game 2. Right wing Viktor Stalberg replaced Brandon Bollig for Chicago.
Boston’s Claude Julien and Chicago’s Joel Quenneville rank second and third among coaches in playoff victories since the 2008 postseason. Julien has 49 and Quenneville has 47. Detroit’s Mike Babcock leads with 51.
The history of third games was in the Bruins’ favor. In Game 3s this year, the Bruins were 3-0 and the Blackhawks were 0-3. And the home team has won the last nine Game 3s in the finals.
Chicago won the series opener 4-3 in three overtimes then Boston won 2-1 in one overtime. The only time the first three games of a Cup finals series all went to overtime was in 1951, when all five games needed extra time. Toronto beat Montreal 4-1 to win the championship.