BOSTON -- With the Stanley Cup on the line, Chicago captain Jonathan Toews got the green light to play in Game 6 while Boston coach Claude Julien said he was optimistic that centre Patrice Bergeron would also see action Monday night.
Both players, integral to their teams, did not finish Game 5 Saturday due to undisclosed injuries.
Bergeron was taken to hospital during Saturday's game for evaluation. Toews, who sustained several big hits earlier, finished the game on the bench.
"I feel great," Toews said taking part in the morning skate Monday. "That was just, I think, the coaches being cautious. ... We've gotten to the point where I feel ready to go again, and I'll be ready to play tonight."
Boston coach Claude Julien was optimistic about Bergeron, who was not on the ice for the Bruins morning skate and did not meet the media.
"Patrice will dress for warmup tonight and I am feeling confident that he will play," said Julien.
Chicago, having won the last two games, leads the series three games to two.
Carl Soderberg took Bergeron's place between Jaromir Jagr and Brad Marchand at the skate. He also filled in for Bergeron in the latter stages of Game 5.
Toews was on the ice for the Hawks' skate Monday, taking part in rushes with usual linemates Bryan Bickell and Patrick Kane. Toews left Game 5 with what coach Joel Quenneville called an upper-body injury.
"I guess the way I felt out there, I'd say it's the best morning skate I've had all series," said Toews. "I feel very excited. There's no question about where I am physically."
Added Quenneville: "He's 100 per cent ready to go."
The heat will literally be on both teams Monday night. The forecast high for Boston on Monday is 33 C.
There was a thin layer of fog on the ice when the Bruins started their morning skate.
"Those are conditions you have to play with at this time of year," Julien said. "Everybody's been through it. The two teams are going through the same conditions and both teams are going to tell you the same thing: Keep the game simple and try to avoid those mistakes from overhandling pucks in those kinds of ice conditions."
Julien says his team has to go out and enjoy the moment.
"Just because we're down 3-2, we haven't lost the Cup yet, OK," he said. "We still have a chance to win it. So it's about focusing on going out there and doing it and having fun doing it."
And he reminded reporters that 28 other teams would love to be in their place.
Both teams have tasted Cup glory recently. Chicago won the Cup in 2010. Boston, rallying from a similar 3-2 deficit against Vancouver, was victorious the next year.
Quenneville said players who were on the 2010 Cup-winning team had been sharing stories about their championship run with newcomers to the squad.
"At the end of the day, we all dream about this challenge and this opportunity," said Quenneville. "Let's go take advantage of it."
History favours the Hawks.
According to Elias, teams leading 3-2 in the Cup final have won 28 of 36 series (77.8 per cent) since the best-of-seven format was introduced in 1939.
Twenty of those teams won in six games (55.6 per cent) while eight won in seven games (22.2 per cent).
Only eight teams have overcome a 3-2 series deficit to win the Cup final (22.2 per cent).
Tickets for Monday's game ranged from US$295 to $5,000 on the reseller Stubhub's website.