CHICAGO – Marian Hossa had quite the night Saturday at United Center.
The Slovakian star forward scored what turned out to be the game-winning goal for the Chicago Blackhawks in a 2-1 victory against the Los Angeles Kings in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final -- but he also did something noteworthy before the game started.
As the Blackhawks’ starting five skaters lined up on the blue line during the singing of the national anthem, Hossa looked into a TV camera that panned across them and gave a wink. It was shown live on the scoreboard’s big screen, but the intended targets for it were located much farther away.
“Lots of my friends back home were watching at the bar,” Hossa said. “I was just giving them some signal. They called me before the game, said they were going to watch. Hopefully they got the signal.”
Hossa also drew laughs among reporters afterward when asked whether the Blackhawks were frustrated during the first intermission while trailing 1-0 and leading 17-2 in shots. Kings star goalie Jonathan Quick was the main reason for it, and Hossa smiled before answering.
“If you're going to get frustrated in the first period, it's going to be a long series,” he said. “You've got lots of time to get frustrated.”