Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

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.

Conference finals

East

Rangers 2, canadiens 0

Game 1: Rangers 7, Canadiens 2

Game 2: Rangers 3, Canadiens 1

Thurs.: at New York, 8, NBCSN

Sunday: at New York, 8, NBCSN

May 27: at Montreal, 8, NBCSN*

May 29: at New York, 8, NBCSN*

May 31: at Montreal, 8, NBCSN*

West

Blackhawks 1, Kings 0

Game 1: Blackhawks 3, Kings 1

Tonight: at Chicago, 8, NBCSN

Saturday: at L.A. 8, Ch. 8

Monday: at L.A., 9, NBCSN

May 28: at Chicago, 8, NBCSN*

May 30: at L.A., 9, NBCSN*

June 1: at Chicago, 8, NBCSN*

* if needed

Two Slovaks' friendship on hold in West 05/20/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 20, 2014 9:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. College basketball scandal dips into Tampa Bay

    Preps

    Tuesday's national college basketball scandal has recruiting ties to Tampa Bay.

    In this March 15, 2012, file photo, San Diego State assistant coach Tony Bland, left, talks during NCAA college basketball practice in Columbus, Ohio. Bland was identified in court papers, and is among 10 people facing federal charges in Manhattan federal court, Tuesday in a wide probe of fraud and corruption in the NCAA, authorities said. [AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File]
  2. Lightning's Brayden Point could be perfect fit alongside Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov

    Lightning Strikes

    SUNRISE — Brayden Point ended last season as the Lightning's No. 1 center, thrust into the role as a rookie due to injuries.

    Lightning center Brayden Point (21) advances the puck through the neutral zone during Friday's preseason game against the Nashville Predators. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  Times]
  3. For starters: Rays at Yankees, with Blake Snell starting, Wilson Ramos cashing in

    Blogs

    The Rays open their final road series of the season tonight at Yankee Stadium, which is also where they played their first of the season.

    LHP Blake Snell will be on the mound for the Rays, looking to continue his successful late-season run, in which he is 4-0, 2,57 over his last eight starts.

    Tonight marks Wilson Ramos' 55th start of the season.
  4. Cannon Fodder podcast: Considering Gerald McCoy's comments

    Bucs

    Greg Auman talks about Gerald McCoy's comments — both about fan criticism online and Donald Trump — in the latest episode of our Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Gerald McCoy, front, said Monday that he would love to have a conversation with any of the fans who take to social media to criticize him and his Bucs teammates. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  5. Alex Volkov with a top-six showcase for Lightning

    Blogs

    Alex Volkov entered Lightning camp a bit of an unknown, the second-round pick from Russia in his first NHL camp.

    Alex Volkov (79) works to stop Florida Panthers center Denis Malgin (62) during the second period of Sunday's game in Tampa.