PHILADELPHIA -- Marian Hossa is one win away from the Stanley Cup -- again.
The Chicago Blackhawks winger was in the same position last spring with the Detroit Red Wings: up 3-2 on the Pittsburgh Penguins with a chance to win the big prize.
He had left the Penguins to join the Wings after losing the Cup to Detroit two years ago.
Now he's here with the 'Hawks, up 3-2 on the Philadelphia Flyers with a chance to close.
"I believe I'm more calm, more relaxed," he said this morning when asked how the experience of playing in three straight finals has changed him. "I'm trying to take it as just another game and don't think about all the good things around it."
He said he would not be giving a speech to his teammates about being close and losing two years in a row.
"I don't think a big speech needs to be said. Everyone knows what's at stake," said Hossa. "You always believe this is the year and we have worked so hard to get here. We're just a step away, but it's going to be a tough step. It feels different because you are so close, but on the other hand, you can't think about it."
The 'Hawks are coming off a dominating performance in Game 5 in Chicago, a 7-4 win which saw them outplay the Flyers in just about every area of the game.
But this has been a homer series with neither team being able to win in the other's building.
"If you keep it in the simplest of terms, we're playing the Blackhawks tonight in our building. We've played them here three times this year and we've beaten them," said Flyers coach Peter Laviolette. "Can we beat the Chicago Blackhawks tonight on our ice? It's that simple for our group."
The Flyers have shown a remarkable ability to handle these situations this season, making NHL history by becoming just the third team to come back from a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-seven series in the second round against the Boston Bruins. That came after they were in 29th place in the league at Christmas and got into the playoffs on the final day of the regular season, in a shootout, no less.
The Flyers have been resilient this season and Laviolette sees no reason for that to change.
"I definitely think there's enough to go two more (games)," he said. "We can go more if we had to. It's not the position we want to be in. I'm sure everybody would like to be up 3-0 or 3-1 with a chance to close out in Game 6 in our building. That's just not the path we've taken in this series. We find ourselves with our back against the wall. I say comfortable. I believe we are comfortable here because this is our sixth time facing elimination."