Hossa missed Game 3 because of an upper-body injury but played in Game 4 after not skating that morning. The Blackhawks did not practice Thursday, and Hossa stayed off the ice during the team’s Friday workout.
"He's fine. He'll play," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said after the morning skate Saturday. "We'll say he should be better."
Hossa logged 19:07 of ice time in Game 4, won by Chicago 6-5 in overtime to tie the best-of-7 series 2-2. He did not start the game taking regular shifts on the penalty kill, but was out there on it near the end of the game. He had an assist on Patrick Sharp's third-period power-play goal and four shots on goal.
Hossa was tied for second on the Blackhawks with 16 playoff points and third with seven goals. He was expected to skate on the team’s second line with Sharp and center Michal Handzus.
By virtue of winning Game 4 at TD Garden, the Blackhawks have home-ice advantage again. Chicago was one of three teams to collect a League-high 39 of a possible 48 points at home during the regular season after going 18-3-3 here. They were 10-2 in the 2013 playoffs at United Center.
"I don't know if it is going to be that big of a factor, but we've certainly played well in the playoffs at home," Blackhawks forward Viktor Stalberg said. "We've been comfortable here all year. It is nice to have the crowd at your back when you get those long shifts and you can take some extra energy from it. We think it is an advantage to be at home, but it comes down to battling and getting the bounces to go our way."
One difference at United Center could be the line matchups. Quenneville would have more say than he has the past two contests, but Boston coach Claude Julien repeatedly has said he's more concerned with matching his defensemen against Chicago's top forwards than the players up front.
"We get last change. We get the matchups we want," Blackhawks forward Bryan Bickell said. "We do get the crowd behind us, but it is the Finals. We were happy to get one there, but they've also won in our building. We need to look at this like it is a Game 7, a must-win game."
Game 4 proved to be a significant departure from the previous three. There were a total of 10 goals in regulation in the first three games before the teams scored 10 in regulation in Game 4.
Though the Blackhawks don't mind playing at a very high pace, neither team was particularly happy with how many chances it allowed in Game 4.
"I don't anticipate, and I don't think anyone does, that there will be 10 goals here [in Game 5]," Stalberg said. "It is going to be one of those tight games, most likely, and we feel like we can win those types of games. We've been doing that all year. We've been in a lot of one-goal games. I think we won the most in the League. We're comfortable in those tight games."
Stalberg was correct. The Blackhawks won 19 one-goal games during the regular season, five more than any team and six more than Boston's 13. Chicago also had won a League-high eight one-goal games in this postseason; Boston is second with seven.
Three of the four games in this series were decided by one goal in overtime. It was the first time since 1993 there had been three overtime games in the Cup Final. The last time there were four was 1951, when all five games in the Toronto Maple Leafs' 4-1 series victory against the Montreal Canadiens needed extra time.
"The two teams want the same goal. There is a lot of passion out there," Bickell said. "It is at the highest level right now. If it takes extra minutes, then it takes extra minutes. It has been fun to be part of this."
Here was the projected lineup for the Blackhawks in Game 5:
Scratched: Steve Montador, Jeremy Morin, Daniel Carcillo, Sheldon Brookbank, Jamal Mayers, Ben Smith, Dylan Olsen, Brandon Pirri, Jimmy Hayes, Shawn Lalonde, Klas Dahlbeck, Adam Clendening, Brandon Bollig, Ryan Stanton, Carter Hutton, Henrik Karlsson