Author: Mike Halford


WATCH LIVE: Flyers at Penguins on Rivalry Night


The latest installment of the Penguins-Flyers rivalry goes tonight at Consol at 8 p.m. ET, and you can catch all the action using’s Live Extra.


Some relevant linkage for tonight’s affair:

NHL on NBCSN: Flyers won’t fool with Penguins on Rivalry Night

After eight-game absence, St. Louis back for Rangers tomorrow

New York Rangers v Tampa Bay Lightning

The Blueshirts will welcome back their most experienced player on Thursday when they take on the Wild in Minnesota.

Martin St. Louis, who’s been out of the lineup since Mar. 16 with a sprained MCL, will draw back in for the first time in eight games. The 39-year-old looks as though he’ll skate on a line with Carl Hagelin and Kevin Hayes, and should have plenty of opportunity to shake the rust off prior to the playoffs — the Rangers have six games left in the regular season, including tomorrow’s game at Xcel and an intriguing final game of the year against possible first-round opponent Washington.

It’ll be important for St. Louis to work his way back into game form. This hasn’t been a banner year; while his 20 goals and 47 points are solid production, his 0.69 points-per-game average is his lowest since 2001-02. That said, he’ll still be a key cog of this Rangers team come playoff time, not only because he’s one of the few Stanley Cup winners on the roster, but also because he was a vital part of last year’s run, leading the team in goals (eight) while finishing second in points.

Goalie nods: Stalock starts third straight for Sharks

San Jose Sharks v Los Angeles Kings - Game Six

All the latest from the blue paint…

San Jose looking forward?

All but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, San Jose will sit veteran — and soon-to-be UFA — Antti Neimi for the third straight game tonight, and once again start Alex Stalock in goal when it takes on the Avs.

Stalock, who’s started three straight only one other time this year, inherited the net after Niemi fell ill two games ago and has performed reasonably well, helping the Sharks gain three of a possible four points by stopping 47 of his last 51 shots faced.

It’ll be interesting to see how much the Sharks play the 27-year-old over their final six games of the regular season. Stalock is under contract for next year and while there are doubt he can be a full-time starter in the NHL, he will (presumably) be with the organization in 2015-16 whereas it’s unlikely Niemi will be back.

For Colorado, Reto Berra gets the nod.


Leafs at Sabres: Jonathan Bernier vs. Anders Lindback

Flyers at Pens: Steve Mason vs. Marc-Andre Fleury

Oilers at Ducks: Ben Scrivens vs. Frederik Andersen

Johnny Hockey named NHL’s rookie of the month for March

Columbus Blue Jackets v Calgary Flames

The NHL’s rookie scoring leader is also its rookie of the month.

On Wednesday, the league announced that Calgary freshman Johnny Gaudreau took home the honors for March after putting up 16 points in 15 games, keeping the Flames afloat in the Western Conference playoff chase.


Gaudreau edged Ottawa Senators right wing Mark Stone (4-11—15 in 16 GP), Boston Bruins teammates Ryan Spooner (7-7—14 in 15 GP) and David Pastrnak (3-10—13 in 15 GP), Carolina Hurricanes center Victor Rask (3-8—11 in 15 GP), and Anaheim Ducks goaltender John Gibson (6-2-0, 2.50 GAA, .918 SV%) for the honor.

Gaudreau, a fourth-round selection (104th overall) by the Flames in the 2011 NHL Draft, recorded at least one point in 10 of his 15 March appearances, highlighted by four multi-point efforts. Those included his fourth career multi-goal game in a 6-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks March 11 (2-0—2) and his fourth career game-winning goal in a 5-3 triumph over the Dallas Stars March 30 (1-1—2).

Gaudreau joins Tanner Pearson (October), Filip Forsberg (November), John Klingberg (January) and Anders Lee (February) as this season’s rookie of the month winners. He also looks to be a lock as one of this year’s three Calder Trophy finalists, along with Forbsberg and Aaron Ekblad.

St. Cloud sniper Brodzinski skips senior year, signs with Kings

Jonny Brodzinski

St. Cloud State standout Jonny Brodzinski — Los Angeles’ fifth-round pick at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft — has decided to forgo his senior season and turn pro.

Brodzinski, 21, made the announcement via Twitter on Wednesday. The decision comes on the heels of an impressive junior campaign in which he scored 21 goals and 38 points in 40 games — it was Brodzinski’s third straight 20-goal campaign, capping off a decorated career in which he emerged as the Huskies’ leading scorer in his sophomore season.

It remains to be seen what the immediate future holds for Brodzinski. It likely he could take some time off — he was dealing with an injury at the end of the collegiate season — but the possibility remains for him to join AHL Manchester for its Calder Cup playoff run.

Should he join the Monarchs, Brodzinski will be reunited with former St. Cloud teammates Nic Dowd and Kevin Gravel.