PITTSBURGH - Marian Hossa was booed loudly by Pittsburgh Penguins fans each time he had the puck.
He did nothing to quiet them on Tuesday. Hossa was held without a goal for the third straight game and the white-clad fans in Pittsburgh loved it, especially because the Penguins beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 to pull within 2-1 in the Stanley Cup final. "I knew what to expect," the Slovakian winger said. "I didn't try to pay attention to that. I just tried to play."
The good news for the defending champions, though, might be the fact that Hossa has scored two goals in each of his Game 4s with them since bolting from the runner-up Penguins.
Game 4 is on Thursday in Pittsburgh.
Hossa had chances to help Detroit, but he couldn't beat goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury with a shot and once he whiffed on an attempt on a bouncing puck.
"I tried to hit it in the air," Hossa said. "That would be a lucky play."
Hossa had two of his three shots in the second period as Detroit outshot Pittsburgh 14-4, and he lamented the missed opportunities to break the 2-2 tie.
"We had some great ones, and we just didn't capitalize," he said. "(Mikael Samuelsson) had a great chance and hit a post."
The marquee free agent with Detroit last summer at a relative discount for about US$7.5 million, declining an offer estimated to be worth $49 million to remain with the Penguins and reportedly many more millions to play in Edmonton.
He has scored in just three games this post-season - all Game 4s - but Hossa often has been dominant with and without the puck.
Hossa, though, was only noticeable Tuesday night because of the reaction the fans at Mellon Arena had when the puck was on his stick.
"He has the puck a lot, and that's good for us," teammate Valtteri Filppula said. "I think he played really well.
"He had a couple real nice opportunities, just have to hope it goes in for him in the next game."