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

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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.

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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.

Report: No suspension for Burrows after Gaustad hit

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Vancouver’s Alex Burrows won’t face any supplemental discipline for his hit on Nashville’s Paul Gaustad on Tuesday night, per TVA’s Renaud Lavoie.

Burrows, who has been suspended once already this season, was given an interference major and game misconduct for this late in the third period of the Canucks’ 5-4 shootout victory:

After the game, Burrows said he was surprised at getting booted from the contest, adding he had no intention to hurt Gaustad but was concerned about possible suspension.

“You’re always worried,” Burrows told the Vancouver Sun. “But it’s not for me to judge or forecast what’s going to happen. I’ll let the people who are in charge make the call and we’ll go from there.

“We did collide. My intentions weren’t to hurt him or anything. It’s tough to say; it’s a tough call. It’s not up to me really to judge if I thought it was a penalty (but) when they told me it was a five, I was pretty surprised and I was upset a little bit about it. But the boys battled and they found a way.”

Gaustad left the game following the hit and didn’t play another shift. The Preds had no update on his condition following the tilt, but center Mike Fisher voiced his displeasure with the play.

“The refs made the right call,” Fisher said. “That was a cheap shot. Hopefully Paul is going to be okay. That’s the main thing.”

Video: Burrows ‘surprised, upset’ he received a major penalty for hit on Gaustad

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Alex Burrows received a major penalty for interference and a game misconduct for hitting unsuspecting Nashville Predators forward Paul Gaustad late in the third period of Tuesday’s game.

But the veteran Vancouver Canucks forward maintained that what occurred was just a collision between the two players, who were both skating up ice just inside the Vancouver zone. The Canucks managed to kill off the five-minute Predators power play before going on to a shootout victory.

“You’re always worried,” Burrows told the Vancouver Sun. “But it’s not for me to judge or forecast what’s going to happen. I’ll let the people who are in charge make the call and we’ll go from there.

“We did collide. My intentions weren’t to hurt him or anything. It’s tough to say; it’s a tough call. It’s not up to me really to judge if I thought it was a penalty (but) when they told me it was a five, I was pretty surprised and I was upset a little bit about it. But the boys battled and they found a way.”

Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa was also given a misconduct at the same time.

During the video, Bieksa can be seen skating by Gaustad, who was down on the ice, and saying something that caught the immediate attention of the referee.

Canucks outlast Predators for shootout win after Bieksa, Burrows get ejected

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There are eventful hockey games, and then you have what transpired between the Vancouver Canucks and Nashville Predators on Tuesday.

The Canucks earned two points, crucial to their chances of getting into the playoffs, thanks to a 5-4 shootout win on the road against the Predators, giving Vancouver two victories in as many days to start this four-game trip through the Central Division.

With five games remaining on their schedule, the Canucks move to 95 points, which is four ahead of Calgary and seven ahead of L.A.

The victory — shootout goals from Nick Bonino and Radim Vrbata, and two stops from Eddie Lack secured it — only came after Alex Burrows and Kevin Bieksa were tossed at the same time late in the third period.

Burrows was assessed a major penalty for interference and a game misconduct with 3:54 remaining in the third period, as he cut across and caught a vulnerable Paul Gaustad, who was without the puck, with a hit in the neutral zone. At first, it looked like it was just incidental contact between the two players. But a replay showed otherwise. Bieksa, called for an illegal hit to the head in the first period, was tossed for a misconduct.

The Canucks successfully killed off Nashville’s five-minute power play, which included a four-on-three opportunity in overtime, to get the game into the shootout.

It was a wild third period. The Canucks trailed 3-2 after 40 minutes.

But Burrows on a short-handed goal and Chris Higgins on the power play gave the Canucks a 4-3 lead.

It didn’t last, as Nashville got even on a fluke power play goal with just over five minutes remaining. Bonino’s clearing attempt in front of the Vancouver net hit off the foot of Mike Fisher and through the legs of Lack.

The Canucks continue their trip Thursday, when they take on the Chicago Blackhawks.

Canucks’ Bieksa penalized for illegal check to the head

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Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa was penalized for a hit to the head of Viktor Stalberg early in the first period of Tuesday’s game against the Nashville Predators.

The hit occurred less than three minutes into the game, and Bieksa was given only a minor penalty.

As Stalberg was trying to work past Bo Horvat behind the Vancouver net, Bieksa caught Stalberg with a shoulder to the head of the Nashville forward, sending him to the ice.

Stalberg was shaken up on the play, but returned to the game shortly after.

(H/T to @ThomasDrance and Canucks Army.)

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