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Marian Hossa still expected to play Game 4 after missing morning skate

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer

Marian Hossa is still expected to be ready for Game 4. (USATSI)
Marian Hossa is still expected to be ready for Game 4. (USATSI)

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BOSTON -- Marian Hossa is still expected to be ready for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday night, according to coach Joel Quenneville, even though he did not take part in the Chicago Blackhawks morning skate.

The biggest tip that Hossa should be ready to go? The Blackhawks were using Jamal Mayers in his place on a line with Patrick Sharp and Michal Handzus during their pregame skate. Ben Smith, Hossa's Game 3 replacement, was skating on an extra line with Chicago's healthy scratches.

Mayers, who appeared in just 19 games during the regular season (and has appeared in no playoff games), scored zero goals and recorded two assists. It's safe to say he was just filling space in practice to give Hossa some additional rest and save him for the minutes that matter the most.

When Quenneville was asked about Hossa's absence he simply responded with, "He's fine."

Hossa has been one of the best players in the NHL this postseason, while the Blackhawks struggled mightily without him on Monday.

There's still no word on what happened -- or when it happened -- but the Blackhawks have simply called his injury an "upper-body injury."

He's scored seven goals to go with eight assists for the Blackhawks.

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