Czech NHL hockey forward Jaromír Jágr scored two goals on Sunday to help the Florida Panthers defeat Ottawa and keep alive hopes for a playoff berth. The final score was 4:2. The player told the media everyone on the team knew of the game’s importance, calling Sunday’s match a “game 7” – referring to the NHL playoff series system. The veteran player only recently joined Florida from New Jersey. The goals on Sunday were the 699th and 700th of Jágr’s NHL career. Florida hold the second wild card in the playoffs from the Eastern Conference.
Czech hockey goalie Ondřej Pavelec has been in excellent form and won his sixth game in a row on Thursday for the Winnipeg Jets. The goaltender stopped 39 shots as his team, the Winnipeg Jets, defeated opponents the Montreal Canadiens handily 5:2. Players Frolík and Tlustý got assists. The Jets are 14th in the NHL at the moment while the Canadiens topped the table earlier this week but have currently slipped to fourth spot. The Habs are on 100 points; the New York Rangers are first, with 101.
In ice hockey, Kometa Brno booked the last place in the Czech play-off semi-finals after a 5:0 win against PSG Zlín on Monday night. The deciding seventh match was needed after Zlín tied the series 3:3. Hosts Kometa took an early lead with the first goal in the fourth minute of play and continued to pile the pressure on the visitors. The win means that Brno face Litvínov with the first game of the series scheduled for Thursday. The other semi-final duel pitches Sparta Prague against Třinec.
In Sport News this Monday: Czechs seek to build on excellent biathlon season; Martina Sáblíková wins ninth event in a row in 3000 metres; Brno and Zlín face off for last play-off place; Sparta Prague scrape win to stay in touch with Viktoria Plzeň; and last places filled for UEFA 2016 qualifier against Latvia.
In four matches in the NHL on Monday only a single Czech player got points: Tomáš Plekanec with a goal and an assist for the Montreal Canadiens against close rivals in the Eastern Conference, the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Habs have played well this season and are on track to clinching a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs but have had a miserable March so far – winning only two of their last eight games. On Monday, Tampa won by a score of 4:2.
In Sports News this Monday: Czechs have most successful Biathlon World Championships ever, while Moravec is only competitor in Finland to take home full collection of medals; Plzeň leapfrog Sparta as Kolář converts late penalty; Vrba names squad for Euro qualifier against Latvia; and Růžička commits to further year as Czech ice hockey coach.
The head of the top Czech ice hockey league has said that talks are going on about it expanding it to Slovak teams. League manager Josef Řezníček has said talks on the subject have been tabled for the general meeting of the association of Czech ice hockey league clubs with no final standpoint yet being taken. Talks are also progressing with the Slovak association, which would have to approve the move, he said. A positive decision could mean that the two top Slovak clubs, Slovan Bratislava and Košice could join the Czech league in the new season.
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