Friday, April 20, 2018
Sports

Two Slovaks' friendship on hold in West

CHICAGO — They share a name and a neighborhood, but can't share what they both want most: the Stanley Cup.

Kings wing Marian Gaborik and Blackhawks wing Marian Hossa are childhood friends and longtime teammates for Slovakia, but now they're opponents in the Western Conference final.

By every measure, it's Hossa 1, Gaborik 0. Chicago opened the series Sunday with a 3-1 victory, and when the top lines went head-to-head the Blackhawks had the decisive edge.

"Chicago just comes with its own set of problems," Los Angeles wing Justin Williams said Monday. "If we're just a little off in our game, we're not going to be good because they will expose that."

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenne­ville matched Hossa, Jonathan Toews and Bryan Bickell against the Kings' top unit of Gaborik, Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown as much as possible.

Hossa had two assists in Game 1, one on Toews' third-period goal. The Kings' first line? Shut out, on a total of six shots.

"It's a big challenge," Hossa said of tonight's Game 2 in Chicago. "I think in Game 1 we did a pretty good job."

These playoffs have marked a resurgence for Hossa, 35, whose numbers have dropped in recent years. Gaborik, 32, has enjoyed a turnaround since a March trade from Columbus; he had 16 points in 19 regular-season games with the Kings, and 15 points in 15 playoff games.

"He is, and always was, a pure sniper," Hossa said of Gaborik. "He has an unbelievable shot. And his speed, when he gets going, you must know where he is."

The friendship — Gaborik and Hossa live in the same area of Slovakia in the offseason — has been put on hold, as Gaborik tries for his first Stanley Cup and Hossa his third.

"We're very close to each other," Gaborik said. "We talk often during the offseason and we've been in touch up to the start of this series. That's pretty much it. No interactions now, no bets."

Satan retires: Miroslav Satan, who played 14 NHL seasons, retired after representing his native Slovakia in the World Championships. He last played in the NHL in 2010 and played in the KHL and Slovakia since.

Comments

Friday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYAutosXfinity: ToyotaCare 250 qualifying4 p.m.FS1Monster Energy Cup: Toyota Owners 400 qualifying5:30 p.m.FS1Xfinity: ToyotaCare 2507 p.m.FS1BaseballRoyals at Tigers1 p.m.MLBTwins at Rays7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMIndians at Orioles7 p.m.MLBMarlins at ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Bucs linebacker Kendell Beckwith fractured ankle in car accident

Bucs linebacker Kendell Beckwith fractured ankle in car accident

TAMPA – Bucs linebacker Kendell Beckwith had surgery to repair a broken ankle he suffered in a car accident in Louisiana last week, putting his status for the start of the season in question.Beckwith was passenger in car driven by former L...
Updated: 4 hours ago

High school scoreboard for April 19

Thursday’s scoreboardBaseballDixie Hollins 8, Canterbury 0Northeast 13, Lakewood 3Calvary Christian 5, Berkeley Prep 2
Updated: 5 hours ago
Out early: Here’s the Bucs’ full 2018 schedule

Out early: Here’s the Bucs’ full 2018 schedule

TAMPA — How good can the Bucs be in 2018? Fans will get a good sense in the first three weeks, as Tampa Bay opens the year with three of its toughest games, all against reigning division champions.The Bucs open 2018 in New Orleans on Sept. 9 at...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Lightning’s Hedman a Norris finalist again

Lightning’s Hedman a Norris finalist again

The Lightning's Victor Hedman is a finalist for the second consecutive year for the Norris Trophy, given to the top defenseman in the league. The other two finalists are Drew Doughty of the Kings and P.K. Subban of the Predators, it was announced Thu...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Turns out, Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy is ready for the playoffs

Turns out, Lightning’s Andrei Vasilevskiy is ready for the playoffs

TAMPA — The second period was not even four minutes old Wednesday night when Devils right wing Patrick Maroon skated all alone toward Andrei Vasilevskiy. It was a moment that could turn a game and even a series.A goal and the score would be tie...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Shaquem Griffin: ‘Lightning is going to win the Stanley Cup’

Shaquem Griffin: ‘Lightning is going to win the Stanley Cup’

Former UCF and Lakewood High standout Shaquem Griffin understandably has been focused on the NFL draft next week in Arlington, Tex., where he is projected as a potential second-day pick.But the Lightning's playoff run  hasn't escaped his attenti...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Bucs’ home schedule leaked: Hosting Eagles in Week 2

Bucs’ home schedule leaked: Hosting Eagles in Week 2

The 2018 NFL schedule won't be released until 8 p.m. tonight, but the Bucs' eight home games were posted early — and presumably accidentally — on the team's site, showing what would be a daunting start to the upcoming season.Multiple outl...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Bay area has ‘hit show’ again, thanks to USF

Bay area has ‘hit show’ again, thanks to USF

For the first time since its season commenced, the USF baseball team enters a weekend as the Bulls' feature sports attraction.Basketball ended last month, and spring football ended last Saturday, meaning would-be baseball fans no longer have reason t...
Published: 04/19/18
The Mallex Smith effect can take effect for Rays

The Mallex Smith effect can take effect for Rays

ST. PETERSBURG — Mallex Smith has style.Effervescent personality. Pop culture hipness. Sense of fashion with accoutrements.Now the Rays are going to find out if he has game.More specifically, enough game to be a front-line outfielder, even an i...
Published: 04/19/18