CHICAGO - The third annual Marian Hossa Stanley Cup Quest is off to a good start.
Thanks to Marian Hossa.
While the rest of the offensive stars pretty much had brutal nights in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final, Hossa helped key the Chicago Blackhawks 6-5 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.
Hossa set up a pair of goals by Troy Brouwer, who also added an assist, and along with Patrick Sharp the line combined for six points.
Hossa, playing in his third-straight final with his third different team, said the experience of being on this stage might have helped on a night when it looked like all the other major talents had stage fright.
“Probably there’s a little bit maybe true about it because we’ve been in these kind of games and you went through it,” he said. “So you keep your composure, keep your game and don’t try and run around and be somebody else. I tried to play the same way. I’m just glad we won.”
Brouwer scored the ’Hawks first and fifth goals to give him four for the playoffs.
“It was a little nerve-wracking, that’s for sure,” said the 24-year-old from Vancouver. “Some of the guys in this series, it’s their first time in the final. Nerves might have had a little to do with it. It’s a real emotional game.”
Hossa was a force just about every time he was on the ice. He controlled the puck down low and made a great pass from behind the net for Brouwer’s second goal at 15:18 of the second period that tied the game 5-5. That was only slightly better than his work on Brouwer’s first that tied it 1-1.
“Hoss is obviously a great player in this league and everybody knows it. He has been for a long time,” said Brouwer. “So the other team is going to key on him a little more. That gives me an opportunity to get open. He’s so good with his puck possession and vision that as long as you get open...on the first goal, he fended off two or three guys in the corner, brought it to the front and was able to make a great backhand pass to me.
“With him, you just have to let him do his thing and get open and he’ll find you.”