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Stanley Cup final: 4 things to know for Game 4

06/10/2015 11:48 EDT | Updated 06/10/2016 05:59 EDT
Injuries have become a huge factor in the Stanley Cup final as key players continue to go down and continue to play through a litany of unnamed ailments that are directly affecting their performances.

With Game 4 set for Wednesday in Chicago (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 8 p.m. ET), here are four things to know:

Oduya or O-don't-ya

The Blackhawks' Big 4 defencemen turned into an (even more) overworked three when Johnny Oduya was forced to leave Game 3 with what is now being described as an upper-body injury.

Here are a couple of plays that hastened Oduya's departure. First, tangling with J.T Brown:

Then this takedown by Nikita Kucherov that drew a penalty:

Oduya returned to the bench and was not very happy. It would be his last shift of the game.

His departure trimmed the Blackhawks' list of reliable defenceman to Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Niklas Hjalmarsson, with uneven Kyle Cumiskey and Trevor van Riemsdyk pressed into service. It was Cumiskey who lost track of Cedric Paquette on the late winning goal that gave Tampa Bay a 2-1 series lead. 

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said he's expecting Oduya to play Wednesday.

Battling Bishop

On a chess board, bishops move diagonally, often with great speed and efficiency to save threatening situations. For Ben Bishop and the Tampa Bay Lightning, the ice surface must have been tilted to the right because the 6-foot-7-inch goaltender, whose starting status was in doubt before Game 3, was moving particularly well to his right, but decidedly less so in the opposite direction.

Something is wrong physically, but Bishop's 36-save effort in the 2-1 victory Monday did all his talking beyond his pre-game Marshawn Lynch routine and seems to indicate he can still be effective.

With 13 wins, Bishop leads all goaltenders in the playoffs and has the Lightning within two victories of claiming their second Stanley Cup.

Deja vu all over

Yes, the Blackhawks have been here before. Down 2-1 in a series, that is. It happened in the Western Conference final against the Ducks when Chicago lost Game 3 on home ice only to even the series on an overtime goal by Antoine Vermette.

The Blackhawks did a similar thing in 2013, falling behind the Boston Bruins 2-1 before coming back to win that series and the Stanley Cup.

Triplets unleashed

While the Blackhawks are still waiting for more production from top forwards Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Patrick Sharp, the scoring hiatus by the Lightning's Triplets line of Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat was very brief.

In Game 2, Tampa's first win of the series, Kucherov scored his 10th goal of the playoffs to tie the game at 2-2 and assisted on Johnson's playoff-leading 13th goal that gave the Lightning the lead in their 4-3 victory.

On Monday, the Blackhawks had just taken a 2-1 lead in the third period when the Lightning responded, tying the game just 13 seconds later when Palat jammed in a rebound.

Handling this explosive trio with an undermanned blue-line will be one of the Blackhawks' biggest challenges for Game 4.

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