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Stanley Cup Finals: Boston Edition

Stanley Cup Finals: Boston Edition

Photo By Jeffrey S Levine

Dan Paille

Photos by NHL Media

 If tonight's edition of the Stanley Cup Finals was an episode of Sesame Street it would have been brought to you by the number three. Game three, like games one and two, were decided by the third line. Former Sabre and Welland, Ont. native, Danielle Paille, picked up right where he left off from the overtime of game two, passing to Tyler Seguin, moving to the other side of the net and hammering home a laser to break the 0-0 deadlock and score what would eventually become the game winner. It was Paille's third game-winner of the postseason and, after another unworldly performance, Tuukka Rask earned his, you guessed it, thrid shutout since the regular season ended.
 
Tonight's game, however, was not defined by what it offered so much as marked by what it was missing; mainly No. 81 for the Hawks. Despite skating in pre-game warmups, Hossa's absence was a game-time decision, one that Boston Coach Claude Julien only found out about when he got the official lineup. While he insists that it didn't change Boston's gameplan, the absence of the right winger was apparent on the visitor's side where lines had to be shuffled. Ben Smith had a decent game--one shot, two blocked shots--but Marian Hossa, the team's leading scorer, he is not. With Hossa listed as day to day with the obiquitous "upper body injury," Smith may see more ice time in game four, something Coach Q feels confident in if it comes to that: "Benny gives us energy. He's one of those players that offensively, defensively, he's responsible. He's been practicing hard. You lose a guy like Hoss, he'll fill a little bit of skill for us, as well."
 
With or without Hossa, the Blackhawks are sure to come out stronger in game four and make up for what was one of their worst all-around hockey games of the entire season.

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