Hossa expected back, Toews and Kane may reunite for Game 4 | Hockey | CBC Sports

Hockey Night in CanadaHossa expected back, Toews and Kane may reunite for Game 4

Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 | 01:06 PM

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Marian Hossa was a surprise last-minute scratch from Game 3. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Marian Hossa was a surprise last-minute scratch from Game 3. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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Three storylines for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final between the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks on Hockey Night in Canada from TD Garden on Wednesday night (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7:30 p.m. ET). Boston leads the series 2-1.
BOSTON -- Three storylines for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final between the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks on Hockey Night in Canada from TD Garden on Wednesday night (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7:30 p.m. ET). Boston leads the series 2-1.

The Bruins scored a 2-0 win at home on Monday. Game 5 is set for Chicago at the United Center on Saturday.

1. It appears Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews will be back on Chicago's top line.

They saw some shifts together in Game 3 after the Blackhawks fell behind 2-0 in the second period. But after being split up for the Stanley Cup final, it appears Toews and Kane will be back together along with left wing Bryan Bickell.

This was a combination that played so well in Games 4 and 5 against the Los Angeles Kings in the West final. Kane and Bicknell scored in Game 4. Kane checked in with a hat trick in the series finale.

"Every series is different," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "Every matchup is different. They've had some looks together over the course of the games. We look at production. Sometimes maybe we're looking to ignite. One line can get going. We don't really care who scores goals. If they can get hot, get on the board offensively, that's what we look for.

"But they're certainly capable of it. They exited the last series on a high note. Getting back together here, hopefully they can continue on."

2. Will injured Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa return to action?

Hossa, a surprise last-minute scratch for Game 3 with an upper-body injury, is expected to return on Wednesday even though he did not participate in the Blackhawks' morning skate. Jamal Mayers took Hossa's spot on the second line alongside centre Michal Handzus and Patrick Sharp in the morning skate.

Quenneville said Hossa is fine and is expected to play on Wednesday. He didn't like criticism about Hossa's toughness.

"If he could play, he would play, so we don't need to discuss that," Quenneville said. "We know how competitive he is and what he means to our team."

3. Is Boston simply playing too well for Chicago?

There isn't much wrong with the Bruins' game right now. They have gone 11-2 in their last 13 games and outscored their opponents 40-21 during this stretch. Their penalty-killing unit has killed off 27 in a row, dating back to their second-round finale against the New York Rangers. Goalkeeper Tuukka Rask has three shutouts in his last seven outings.

The Bruins also have won seven in a row at home and haven't surrendered a goal in their last 186:28 of play at TD Garden.

Meanwhile, the Blackhawks haven't had an answer for the Bruins' third line of Daniel Paille, Chris Kelly and Tyler Seguin since they were put together halfway through Game 2. Blackhawks centre David Bolland particularly had a rough Game 3. He was stripped of the puck on Paille's game-winner, took two penalties and had a horrible night in the face-off circle.

Judging by some of the line combinations employed by Quenneville at the morning skate, Bolland has been demoted to the fourth line. Andrew Shaw skated between left wing Brandon Saad and speedy right wing Viktor Stalberg on the third line.

Projected lineup for Chicago

Forwards

Bryan Bickell -- Jonathan Toews -- Patrick Kane

Patrick Sharp -- Michal Handzus -- Marian Hossa

Brandon Saad -- Andrew Shaw -- Viktor Stalberg

Marcus Kruger -- David Bolland -- Michael Frolik

Defence

Duncan Keith -- Brent Seabrook

Johnny Oduya -- Nicklas Hjalmarsson

Nick Leddy -- Michal Rozsival

Goaltender

Corey Crawford

Projected lineup for Boston

Forwards

Milan Lucic -- David Krejci -- Nathan Horton

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- Jaromir Jagr

Daniel Paille -- Chris Kelly -- Tyler Seguin

Kaspars Daugavins -- Rich Peverley -- Shawn Thornton

Defence

Zdeno Chara -- Dennis Seidenberg

Andrew Ference -- Johnny Boychuk

Torey Krug -- Adam McQuaid

Goaltender

Tuukka Rask

Follow Tim Wharnsby on Twitter @WharnsbyCBC.

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