Stewart vs. Stewart — the matchup that’s been a long time coming.
Chris (younger, of the St. Louis Blues) and Anthony (older, of the Carolina Hurricanes) will finally hit an NHL ice surface together tonight at the Scottrade Center. There have been opportunities in the past — once when Chris was in Colorado and Anthony in Florida, later when Chris was with the Avs and Anthony the Thrashers — but injuries and lineup decisions always kept it from happening.
“The hockey gods didn’t want us playing against each other,” Anthony told NHL.com. “It’s exciting to go out there and see some of the good things he [Chris] is doing firsthand. The main thing is getting two points, but it’s exciting nonetheless.”
Siblings playing against each other in the same NHL contest is rare, but not unheard of. This preseason, three sets of brothers played against each other (on the same night, no less.) Of course, that was the preseason. This is the regular season, with two points on the line and all the other cliches about how every game is vital in the standings.
So for the sake of the Stewart family, let’s hope Chris and Anthony don’t end up like Keith and Wayne Primeau did when they met in 1997 (as members of the Whalers and Sabres, respectively.)
This wasn’t a good situation for anyone — the brothers were really upset about the incident and vowed to never let it happen again. Heck, Poor Keith had to call his parents right after the game to apologize. But that’s what happens when you whale on your kid brother. What might seem fun at the time is less enjoyable when explaining yourself to mom and dad.
Penguins center Sidney Crosby, Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, and Panthers center Vincent Trocheck have been named the NHL’s three stars for the past week.
From the NHL:
Crosby led the League in goals and points (5-3-8) in three games as the Penguins (26-18-7, 59 points) earned four of a possible six points to secure the second Wild Card position in the Eastern Conference.
Karlsson led the League in assists and ranked second in points (0-7-7) in three games as the Senators (24-23-6, 54 points) won one of three starts for the week.
Trocheck notched six points (3-3—6) in three games, helping the Panthers (31-15-6, 68 points) widen their lead atop the Atlantic Division to six points.
Related: Red-hot Crosby could make Pens a flawed (but dangerous) dark horse
Evgeni Malkin‘s “nagging” lower-body injury will keep him out at least one more game.
Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said this morning that the star center will sit out tonight at home against the Ducks. Malkin already missed two contests this weekend in Florida. His status is day-to-day.
The Penguins lost, 6-3, in Tampa on Friday, but rebounded Saturday with a 3-2 OT win over the Panthers.
Pittsburgh’s next game after tonight’s is Wednesday at home versus the Rangers.
The New York Rangers will be without Ryan McDonagh tonight at home to New Jersey, the club announcing this morning that the defenseman is out with a concussion.
McDonagh left Saturday’s game in Philadelphia following an altercation with the Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds that ended with McDonagh taking a punch to the face from Simmonds.
Simmonds received a match penalty and was thrown out of the game, but did not receive any supplemental discipline.
Given the standings, the Rangers can ill afford to lose McDonagh for long. They play in Pittsburgh Wednesday, followed by three home games against Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Chicago.
Tuesday night, Milan Lucic will play his first game in Boston as a member of the Los Angeles Kings.
It should be an emotional return for the big 27-year-old winger. In an interview with the L.A. Times, he recalled his time with his former club fondly, saying how great it was to be a “part of one of the best-ever eras to be a Bruin.”
A pending unrestricted free agent, Lucic also commented on his contract negotiations with the Kings.
“Nothing to get excited about,” he said. “There’s been two or three little talks here and there. My plan is to remain a King and hopefully finish off my career here. Like I said, I go day by day and you never know what tomorrow is going to bring.”
Lucic has 12 goals and 18 assists in 50 games this season. Though the Kings reportedly want to keep him, the question is whether they can find the cap space to make it happen.
Los Angeles already has Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, Marian Gaborik, Kyle Clifford, Drew Doughty, Jake Muzzin, Alec Martinez, and Jonathan Quick locked up long term. Plus, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson will require new deals after next season.
Related: Why Lucic is an interesting pending UFA