The PHT Nightcap – Tuesday, March 16

We put a lot of content on this blog each day, and we understand
it can be a bit tough to keep track of everything. So at the end of the
day we’ll put up a nightly recap of all of that day’s news. Presenting
Pro Hockey Talk Nightcap:

of the Night: Marty Brodeur!
– Brodeur with a textbook pass up the
ice, and David Clarkson scores. Great play.

of the Night: Steve Mason
– Mason has had a pretty disappointing
season, but he had one heck of save here.

Hejda likely out the rest of the season
– The Blue Jackets haven’t
had the best overall season, and now their best defenseman could be gone
for the year.

one wants to face Detroit in the first round
– The Red Wings may
not be the most dominant team like they’ve been in the past, but I doubt
there are many teams looking to face them once the playoffs start.

comes out of nowhere…again
– Lee Stempniak actually played well
enough to earn NHL star of the week honors. Imagine that.

Cooke wins the first-ever Bertuzzday award!
– It wasn’t much of a
contest, as Cooke was deemed the most despicable player of last week.

Ducks have reason for optimism
– The Ducks’ season may be over, but
here are some reasons to keep the chin up as the season comes to an

player Matt Fratin suspended one game
– Not even the WCHA is immune
to dirty hits and controversial punishments.

Ovechkin’s ‘apology’
– Ovechkin apologizes, sort of.

for the next Betuzzday winner
– Matt Cooke, meet Alex Ovechkin.

Downie fined $1,000 for Crosby slew-foot
– I don’t think I will
ever understand the NHL’s punishment policy.

go for new look to bust out of slump
– It didn’t help, in case you
were wondering.

Cheechoo: Searching for a new start
– Four years ago he had 56
goals. Now he’s in the AHL.

Miller deserves MVP recognition
– Forget Alex Ovechkin — although
he’s been great — my vote is for Miller.

turns to AHL goaltender for help?
– With Huet down with the flu,
the Blackhawks recalled Corey Crawford. Maybe he can provide some hope.

dorm rooms to the NHL
– Casey Wellman was a in college yesterday;
now he’s an NHL player.

Leighton leaves game with ankle sprain
– Every Flyers can has to be
nervous as heck right now.

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    WATCH LIVE: Rangers at Bruins in the ’15 Thanksgiving Showdown

    Ryan McDonagh, Brad Marchand
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    The Boston Bruins are hosting the New York Rangers in this year’s Thanksgiving Showdown on NBC — but if you’re unable to watch on TV, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

    You can watch the game online via NBC Sports’ Live Extra. Coverage begins just prior to puck drop at 1 p.m. ET.

    For the Rangers, Henrik Lundqvist will get the start in goal, looking for redemption after he got the hook in his last outing, a 5-1 drubbing against Montreal.

    Boston will counter with Tuukka Rask, who stopped 39 of 42 shots in his last start — a win over Toronto on Monday.

    While their starting goalie remains the same from the Habs loss, the Blueshirts will make chances elsewhere. On defense, Dylan McIlrath draws in for Dan Boyle while at forward, Emerson Etem with take Viktor Stalberg‘s spot.

    For the Bruins, Kevan Miller — the defenseman that’s missed the last four games with an upper-body injury — could draw back into the lineup. Miller practiced this week and appears primed to skate in a pairing with Dennis Seidenberg.

    Replacing Beauchemin with Bieksa hasn’t worked out so great for Anaheim

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    Are the Anaheim Ducks missing Francois Beauchemin more than they thought they might?

    It’s a question we’ve been hearing more and more lately, as the Ducks’ goal-scoring woes of October have been replaced by defensive issues in November.

    Anaheim is 3-4-2 in its last nine games. The Ducks have allowed 27 goals in regulation during that stretch — that’s three per game on average — plus two more in a pair of overtime losses.

    In a related story, per the O.C. Register, here’s what coach Bruce Boudreau said the other day about offseason acquisition Kevin Bieksa:

    “He’s a veteran guy that has to fight his way out of this. We count on him to not make mistakes. We will go as far as guys like him take us.”

    Bieksa, 34, is minus-7 in his last four games combined. True, he’s forced to play a lot of hard minutes against good players. But then, that’s exactly what he was brought in to do. The Ducks even gave him a two-year, $8 million extension, locking him up through 2017-18.

    Now consider what Boudreau said during last year’s playoff run, about the guy Bieksa was brought in to replace:

    “He’s the voice. Everybody else is so young. [He] is the voice back there.”

    And Beauchemin was more than just a talker. He led the Ducks in ice time. He had nine assists in 16 playoff games. Bottom line: he was a big part of a team that fell one win shy of making the Stanley Cup Final.

    Beauchemin, of course, signed a three-year deal with Colorado on July 1, for a cap hit of $4.5 million. So far, he’s been as advertised for the Avs. The 35-year-old has two goals and 10 assists. He gets the most ice time on the team, an average of 23:33.

    Looking back, Anaheim GM Bob Murray never did want to lose Beauchemin. The Ducks just weren’t prepared to offer what the Avs did.

    “Beauch’ has been a pretty good warrior for us,” Murray said in June. “He has a one-time chance for free agency and maybe somebody will give him $5 million.… I couldn’t do that.”

    One has to wonder now if Murray wishes he’d found a way.

    The Ducks host the Blackhawks tonight on NBCSN.

    Devils sign veteran Kennedy to one-year, $600K deal

    Tyler Kennedy, Lee Stempniak
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    A second forward has converted a PTO with New Jersey into a shiny new contract.

    Tyler Kennedy, who’s on his second professional tryout with the club, has agreed to a one-year, two-way deal worth $600,000 at the NHL level, the Devils announced on Friday.

    Kennedy, 29, first caught on with the Devils in the preseason, only to be released in early October. He then rejoined the club on a second PTO in mid-November, and earned himself a deal from GM Ray Shero (previously, the two were together in the Pittsburgh organization).

    A former 20-goal scorer with the Pens, Kennedy fell on hard times last year. It began in San Jose — where he never fit in Todd McLellan’s plans — and ended on Long Island, where he sat for over half of the Isles’ opening-round playoff loss to the Caps.

    As for where he’ll fit in the Devils lineup?

    Kennedy said he’s ready to play tonight — the Devils take on Montreal — and it’s possible Stefan Matteau could be scratched, allowing Kennedy to stpe into a bottom-six forward role.

    As for how the Devils will free a roster spot — Jiri Tlusty remains on IR with a shoulder issue, while David Schlemko could be away from the club for a bit, as his wife is due to give birth.

    Rangers park Boyle, Stalberg in press box for Thanksgiving Showdown

    Washington Capitals v New York Rangers - Game Seven
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    I’m not going to make the “it really is Black Friday for Dan Boyle and Viktor Stalberg” joke, but had to recognize it as a semi-viable lede.

    So that’s out of the way.

    Now, onto the business at hand — per the New York Daily News, Boyle and Stalberg will be scratched today when the Rangers take on the Bruins in the annual Thanksgiving Showdown (1 p.m. ET, NBC). Dylan McIlrath will draw in on defense for Boyle, while Emerson Etem will take Stalberg’s spot up front.

    It’s not really surprising Alain Vigneault made some lineup changes.

    The Blueshirts’ last outing was arguably their worst of the season — a 5-1 home loss to the Canadiens, a game in which Boyle finished minus-2 and Stalberg played the least among all Rangers skaters, with just 11:20 TOI.

    More: Dan Boyle isn’t thrilled with all these healthy scratches

    What’s more, McIlrath hasn’t played in nearly two weeks (Nov. 15, versus Toronto). It’s been even longer for Etem — he’s been out of the lineup since a win over the Blues on Nov. 12.

    Related: Just a friendly reminder about Friday’s Bruins-Rangers Thanksgiving Showdown, on NBC