CHICAGO -- The fact Chicago Blackhawks right wing Marian Hossa hasn't scored in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs was a surprise to Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook after the morning skate at United Center on Sunday.
"That's news to me," Seabrook said. "Seems like he scores every night."
Hossa, 36, is not the kind of goal-scorer who is going to lead the NHL in goals, but has become a daunting two-way menace to opposing teams. He has six assists heading into Game 2 of the Western Conference Second Round series against the Minnesota Wild (8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN360, TVA Sports 2), and was an important part of Chicago's 4-3 Game 1 victory on Friday.
Hossa had an assist and four shots and helped the Blackhawks' top line dominate puck possession despite starting predominantly in the defensive zone.
"He's such a great player for us," Seabrook said. "He's been huge all playoffs long. He might not be scoring goals, but he's setting guys up for a lot of goals and doing a lot of stuff out there to help us be successful and win games."
Hossa, left wing Brandon Saad and center Jonathan Toews have excelled this postseason as Chicago's top line. They're dedicated to succeeding at each end of the ice and all three have good size and strength.
Almost 80 percent of their zone starts in Game 1 against the Wild happened in Chicago's defensive zone, yet all three posted Shot Attempt Percentage numbers in the mid-60s.
Saad and Toews each have three goals, and Hossa delivered the primary assist on three of them, including two of Saad's goals. Five of Hossa's six assists have been primary assists. He has taken 28 shots on goal to rank fourth among all players in the postseason.
"I just think his positioning is A-1, as far as perfect," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "Obviously, everybody likes to score and [we] would like to see more production that way, but I still think you play the team game and sometimes they're going to go in for you. We still expect him to score, but we know he’s going to play the right way."
If the Blackhawks keep winning, Hossa won't mind. He took the same approach a year ago, when had two goals, 12 assists and a 2.7 shooting percentage on 75 shots in the 2014 playoffs.
"Definitely I used to score [more], but right now I try not to think about these things, because I feel my game is pretty good offensively," Hossa said. "I'm creating lots of chances. Obviously, I'd like to get that first [goal], but if not and we win, then I'm OK with it."
Here are the projected lineups:
Zach Parise - Mikael Granlund - Jason Pominville
Jason Zucker - Mikko Koivu - Chris Stewart
Thomas Vanek - Charlie Coyle - Nino Niederreiter
Matt Cooke - Erik Haula - Kyle Brodziak
Ryan Suter - Jonas Brodin
Marco Scandella - Jared Spurgeon
Jordan Leopold - Matt Dumba
Scratched: Ryan Carter, Jordan Schroeder, Christian Folin, Nate Prosser, Sean Bergenheim,
Injured: Justin Fontaine (lower body), Keith Ballard (concussion)
Brandon Saad – Jonathan Toews – Marian Hossa
Bryan Bickell – Brad Richards – Patrick Kane
Patrick Sharp – Antoine Vermette – Teuvo Teravainen
Andrew Desjardins – Marcus Kruger – Andrew Shaw
Duncan Keith – Michal Rozsival
Johnny Oduya – Niklas Hjalmarsson
Kimmo Timonen – Brent Seabrook
Scratched: Joakim Nordstrom, Daniel Carcillo, David Rundblad, Kyle Cumiskey, Michael Paliotta,
Injured: Kris Versteeg (lower body)
Status report: Versteeg didn't skate for the fourth straight day because of a lower-body injury.
Who's hot: Keith had two assists in Game 1 and leads the Blackhawks in playoff scoring with two goals and seven assists.