By Sarah Kwak
BOSTON — The surprise came just before the puck dropped in Boston’s 2-0 Game 3 win in the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night. After taking warmups, Blackhawks winger Marian Hossa never came back out of the tunnel and onto the ice at TD Garden. He appeared only on the list of scratches, presumably ailing. (Hossa is day-to-day with an upper-body injury, Chicago coach Joel Quenneville later clarified.) He was replaced by winger Ben Smith, who was making his postseason debut and playing in just his second game all year.
According to the Blackhawks, however, it was only a surprise to those outside their room. Captain Jonathan Toews said the team was aware all day that the man who shares the team scoring lead (7 goals, 15 points) this postseason might not play. They officially made the call just before game time, when Smith was told to get dressed and get warm.