Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa suffered an injury during warm-ups and was a late scratch from the Game 3 lineup. In his place was former Boston College standout Ben Smith.
Coach Joel Quenneville had already made one change, putting another Hockey East product, forward Viktor Stalberg of the University of Vermont, into his lineup and scratching Brandon Bollig. Stalberg played 11 minutes 2 seconds over 14 shifts, all but 59 seconds of it at even strength.
“I think it was a pretty even game all around,’’ said Stalberg, who had one shot on net in the Blackhawks’ 2-0 loss. “There were chances both ways. It’s just a matter of scoring those goals when you get the opportunities.
“I thought I had pretty good legs out there. I feel like I was skating and creating some chances. I felt like I was trying to do everything I could out there. You’ve got to find a way to score and get those chances, too.’’
Smith made his 2013 postseason debut. Smith had been skating with the Black Aces, the extra players who are on hand with the team.
Smith, 24, logged 10:23 of ice time over 13 shifts and had one shot on goal.
“I was just told I had to warm up, that I was in,’’ said Smith. “So I just kind of scrambled to get ready and get warm. That’s kind of been the whole thing this seven, eight weeks with the Black Aces. They tell us to stay ready. You never know when your opportunity is going to come and it just happened tonight. After a couple of shifts, I settled in.’’
Smith, who played in just one regular-season contest for Chicago, suited up for 54 games with the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League, where he scored 27 goals and added 20 assists.
He impressed his teammates with his contributions after such a long layoff.
“I thought [Smith] did a great job jumping in at the last minute,’’ said forward Patrick Sharp. “We are a deep team so we were confident.’’
Stalberg was a regular contributor in the regular season, logging a little more than 14 minutes per game. In the playoffs, though, his ice time has dwindled to just under 11 minutes. He sat out the first two games against Detroit and the first two against the Bruins. In 16 games, he has just three assists and no goals.
As great as it is to make the Final, sitting was difficult.
“You’re enjoying it, obviously, but at the same time, it is frustrating,’’ said Stalberg before the game. “You’ve played every game for the last 2½ years or three years and then you’re sitting out. It’s frustrating and you’re angry about it but you can’t let it affect you too much.
“You can’t let it show, either. You don’t want to be a distraction for the guys who are playing. You try to do everything you can for the team. But I’m happy with the year I’ve had and what I’ve done for this team. I feel like I’m part of everything and that’s just how it is right now.’’
It was Bollig’s turnover that led to Daniel Paille’s goal in overtime of Game 2.
“I think Bollig gave us a couple of real strong games,’’ said Quenneville. “You can talk about the last play. Certainly, you like the predictability of his game. I thought he did a nice job.”
The Blackhawks are 0-4 in Game 3s this year. They lost in the first round to Minnesota, in the second to Detroit, and in the third to Los Angeles. The Bruins, on the other hand, are 4-0, and Claude Julien is 13-1 with the Bruins in Game 3s . . . Quenneville’s 84 postseason victories are the most among active coaches and rank seventh all-time.
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.