In Sports News this Monday: Czech women reach fifth Fed Cup final in six years after beating Swiss in Lucerne; Sparta boss Ščasný “concedes” title race to Plzeň with five rounds to go; Liberec and Sparta tied 1:1 in Extraliga playoffs final; and Chodov become Czech floorball champions in front of record crowd.
The Florida Panthers, with Czech star player Jaromír Jágr, were defeated on Sunday in Game 3 at Barclay’s Center of their first round Stanley Cup playoff match-up against the New York Islanders. The win sees the Isles take a 2-1 series lead. The Islanders scored in overtime to clinch the win. The final score was 4:3. In the pre-game run-up, NHL.com suggested on a list of five things the Panthers needed to do as the series shifted to Brooklyn, was for the top line of Jágr, Huberdeau, Barkov to “break through”. Barkov scored on Sunday and Huberdeau earned an assist but Jágr was kept without a point. Game 4 takes place on Wednesday.
A number of Czech players in the NHL have agreed to play for the national squad at this year’s Ice Hockey World Championships set to begin on May 6 in Russia. Players who agreed to play under coach Vladimír Vůjtek include goalie Ondřej Pavelec, defencemen Michal Jordan and Jakub Nakládal and forward Tomáš Plekanec, all of whose NHL clubs failed to make the Stanley Cup playoffs. David Krejčí, of the Boston Bruins, is not expected, idnes reported.
Jaromír Jágr and his club the Florida Panthers face the New York Islanders in the first round of this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs, which begin on Wednesday. Sunday saw two final regular season games, including the Islanders’ 5:2 loss to Philadelphia which saw them drop to the first wild card position in the Eastern Conference. Jakub Voráček assisted in the match and goalie Michal Neuwirth turned away 15 shots.
In ice hockey, Liberec have booked their place as the first team in the finals of the Extra Liga. It is the first time the club has reached the finals. Liberec beat Mladá Boleslav 5:2 on Tuesday night, after going down 0:1 at the start of the match. The win took Liberec’s tally to an unbeatable 4:0 in the series. They will face the winner of the ongoing contest between Sparta Prague and Plzeň with the series there standing at 2:2.
The Florida Panthers qualified for only the second time this century for hockey’s Stanley Cup playoffs, getting help from the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday who defeated closest contender in the Atlantic Division the Boston Bruins. The only other year Florida qualified this century was in 2011/12. Florida is home to legendary Czech player Jaromír Jágr, who won two back-to-back Stanley Cups at the start of his NHL career with the Pittsburgh Penguins and later came close with the Boston Bruins. Jágr, 44, has had an excellent regular season with 26 goals and 62 points; fellow player Brian Campbell expressed confidence that Florida would continue to improve with four games remaining in the regular season.
The Czech players Jaromír Jágr and Jiří Hudler both scored for Florida Panthers on Saturday night in the club's 5:2 win over local rivals Tampa Bay Lightning. Jágr also notched up an assist. The 44-year-old's goal was his 25th of the season and he is the highest-scoring and most productive Czech in the NHL so far this season. Jágr has two more points than David Krejčí, whose two assists for Boston on Saturday in a 3:1 win over Toronto helped end a five-game losing streak.