In Sports News this Monday: Brno Kometa take impressive 2:0 lead in Extraliga final against defending champions Liberec; Pastrňák forces overtime but Bruins can’t top Ottawa; former women’s No. 2 tennis player Kvitová is hoping to recover in time for the French Open; two football players come under drugs investigation.
Hockey legend Jaromír Jágr picked up two assists in the Florida Panthers 3:0 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, the Panthers' second-last match of the season and last home game. The Panthers are out of playoff contention. Jágr, a pending free agent as of July 1, told the Sun Sentinel in a recent interview he "loved it with the Panthers", after saying throughout the season that he planned to continue playing hockey until 50 or 55. Negotiations on a new potential contract with Florida are to begin after the regular season wraps up.
Hockey’s Tampa Bay Lightning kept playoff qualification hopes alive on Friday by beating the Montreal Canadiens 4:2. The Lightning’s Ondřej Palát picked up an assist in the match. Tampa Bay are a point behind the Toronto Maple Leafs in the last remaining wild-card spot. But the Lightning have only one game remaining while the Leafs have two.
Big names in Czech ice hockey have questioned the NHL’s decision not to release players for next year’s Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. A member of the Czech team that won gold in Nagano in 1998, Jiří Šlégr, said the move was a step backwards as the Olympics would have less value. For his part, Vladimír Růžička, who has taken part in five Olympics as a player and coach, said there had been no better advertisement for the sport of ice hockey than the Olympics.
In ice hockey, champions Liberec booked the last place in the Extraliga semi-finals with a 5:4 victory against Plzeň on Friday night. The win gave them a 4:2 victory in the series and they will now face Chomutov in the semi-final. The other semi-final will be played between Hradec Králové and Kometa Brno.
Tomáš Plekanec broke a two-month drought and scored his eighth goal of the season in the Montreal Canadiens’ 4-1 win against the Ottawa Senators. He scored just 28 seconds into the match, picking up and slotting the rebound from an Andrej Markov shot seconds earlier. Plekanec, who is 34, missed three matches in March due to injury. Montreal are currently top in the Atlantic division and fifth in the Eastern Conference.
The Czech Ice Hockey Association paid tribute to former hockey forward and national squad coach, Josef Augusta who died on Thursday at the age of 70. The coach, who managed the squad during the so-called Golden era at the World Champions from 1999 to 2001 with the team winning the championship three times in a row, had been suffering from pancreatic cancer. He had been diagnosed in 2015. As a player, Mr Augusta won the silver medal at the Winter Olympic Games in Innsbruck.
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