May the best Marian prevail …
Gaborik, 32, has 347 career
The result so far: Chicago Marian 1, Los Angeles Marian 0.
Chicago defeated the Kings, 3-1, in Game 1 of the
One was the battle of teams' top lines, led by star centers
Hossa had two points, both assists, on the Toews line. Gaborik, playing on Kopitar's line, did not have a point.
"He is, and always was, a pure sniper," Hossa said Monday about Gaborik. "You give him a little time, he can release it really quick and can surprise you. He has an unbelievable shot. And his speed, when he gets going, you must know where he is; especially in the middle zone he can use his speed extremely well.
"In one second, he's behind you and you won't catch him, so you want to make sure you know where he is all the time."
Hossa and Gaborik's friendship goes beyond representing Slovakia at the international level. They were both at the Olympics in Vancouver in 2010 and while Hossa was in Sochi in February, Gaborik was unable to compete in Russia because of a broken collarbone.
They now live on the same street, and Gaborik grew up playing with Hossa's younger brother, Marcel, a former NHL player who was with Dinamo Riga of the KHL this past season.
"We live in the same hometown and we're very close to each other," Gaborik said. "We talk often during the off-season and we've been in touch up to the start of this series and that's pretty much it. No interactions now, no bets, whatever."
Said Hossa: "When I was younger, I used to go watch their games when they play as young kids. Marian was always the one who was scoring goals. My brother was the passer. So I know him really when he was little kid.
"… Right now, [at this] point where we not going to talk for two weeks. We try to do our business on the ice. When everything is over, we go back to friendship."
Hossa has two
The Rangers traded him to the
Gaborik, who has a league-leading nine goals in the playoffs, fit in quickly with the group, just like Carter did two years ago.
"I believe Marian's skill set speaks for itself on the ice," Kings forward
Sutter had hinted that defenseman