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Catching Up With...

Catching up with Peter Stastny

Hall of Famer, brothers Marian Stastny, Anton Stastny scored in same game 33 years ago today

by Lisa Dillman @reallisa / Staff Writer

ST. LOUIS -- Busch Stadium was not Bratislava, and Peter Stastny was 60, not 6.

But there were moments when the Hockey Hall of Famer felt like a kid again at the 2017 NHL Winter Classic Alumni Game on Saturday.

"You get back when you were young," said Stastny, who scored a goal in the outdoor game for the St. Louis Blues alumni in an 8-7 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks alumni. "All of Slovakia, there was probably two [rinks] indoors. Nobody could get in ever indoors. So you played outdoors.

"We skated from the end of November until April. I loved it. Mom couldn't get me home. I could be hungry, but I was there hours and hours and I wanted to play and compete."

Those days as children in what was then known as Czechoslovakia -- playing with his older brother Marian and younger brother Anton -- put down the foundation for a dazzling NHL career and impressive international resume.

Video: Stastny brothers are first Europeans to defect to NHL

The Stastnys weren't the first trio of brothers to play on the same NHL team -- the Bentleys (Max, Doug and Reg in Chicago) and the Plagers (Bob, Bill and Barclay in St. Louis) were the first and second, respectively. With the Quebec Nordiques, Anton and Peter played nine seasons together, and Marian was with them for four.

The brothers played a combined 1,949 NHL regular-season games. Peter, a center, scored 450 goals in the NHL, and notably, on Jan. 5, 1984 -- 33 years ago today -- each of the three Stastnys scored in an 8-3 victory against the Boston Bruins at Boston Garden.

Peter, interestingly, embraced the tighter confines of NHL rinks, in particular, Madison Square Garden, unlike some of his fellow Europeans who preferred the bigger ice surfaces.

"I could take a hit and keep the puck," Peter said in an interview with the Hockey Hall of Fame's website. "But I like the small ice. In fact, my favorite rink was the Boston Garden, where all of my teammates hated. But the way I saw it, you make one good move and you've got a great scoring chance."

Of course, Stastny, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1998, could score almost anywhere.

At any age.

His son, Blues forward Paul Stastny, was not surprised his dad scored in the outdoor alumni game, and got a big charge out of watching him.

"All these guys don't lose it," Paul said. "They might lose a step. But the minute they get out there, the brain turns on.

"Just the way they think the game. The way they see the ice will never change."

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