In the National Hockey League, the Detroit Red Wings have tied an NHL record for longest winning streak on home ice, notching up their 20th straight win at the Joe Louis Arena on Sunday when the club downed the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3. The win means the team has not lost at home in more than three months. Philadelphia’s Jaromír Jágr, who turns 40 on Wednesday, was unable to get onto the scoreboard in the game.
In Tuesday NHL game against the Florida Panthers, the Washington Capitals goalkeeper Tomáš Vokoun made 42 saves to get his fourth shutout of the season. The Czech goalie’s team won 4:0 and secured the top position in the league’s Southeast division. The Czech goalkeeper was recognized as the first star of the game.
Centre-forward Martin Hanzal scored twice and fellow player Radim Vrbata earned an assist in NHL action on Monday to help the Phoenix Coyotes defeat the Detroit Red Wings on Monday. The Coyotes are second-to-last in their division in the National Hockey League and 19th out of 30 teams; by contrast the Red Wings are at the top of the standings. Hanzal’s first goal came in the 27th minute and his second late in the game – an empty-netter – as Detroit pulled their goalie for the extra skater. Phoenix had lost to Detroit in their last seven outings.
American hockey players Troy Milam and Alex Foster are halfway through a year-long contract with Sparta Prague, currently the top team in the Czech Extra League. After an important win over their major rivals HC Plzeň, reporters Lothar Martin and Lena Drummer from Radio Prague’s German section met up with the players and asked what they attributed Sparta’s success to.
In Sports News: Two tough wins by tennis player Petra Kvitová at the weekend advanced the Czech Republic to the semi-final of the Fed Cup; preliminary matches in Spain between Czech top flight football club Sparta Prague and Switzerland’s Bellinzona ended following incident; in the NHL, Plekanec scores, earns an assist to help Montreal Canadiens down the Winnipeg Jets; in the domestic hockey league, Kometa Brno trounce Vítkovice.
The Czech Office for the Protection of Competition will review plans to close off the country’s top hockey league, the office’s head Petr Rafaj said on Wednesday. Mr Rafaj said his office was going to probe a possible cartel by hockey clubs; most members of the Czech Professional Ice Hockey Clubs’ Association voted in December to explore the possibility of closing the extraliga off to new teams, citing economic reasons and higher quality of the competition. The plans have come under criticism from sports journalists and fans who prefer to retain the league’s current system of promotion and relegation.
Czech defenseman Tomáš Kabrle spent 12 seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs but on Saturday he ‘returned’ to Toronto in a new jersey – that of traditional Toronto rivals the Montreal Canadiens (the defenseman was dealt to Montreal in December in exchange for fellow Czech player Jaroslav Špaček, after spending only part of the season in Carolina). Montreal won the game 3:1, scoring two in the 3rd period: Montreal’s opening goal followed a shot by Plekanec which bounced off the glass to Rene Bourque who put it away.
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