Video: Rookie Mark Stone stays red hot with 20th goal

When talking about the Ottawa Senators’ surge into relevancy in the Wild Card battle, the name that most often comes up is that of goaltender Andrew Hammond’s. That’s easily justifiable given the run he’s enjoyed since mid-February, but he’s far from the only cause of Ottawa’s late season success.

Rookie forward Mark Stone has been another major factor. Going into tonight’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Stone had 11 goals and 37 points in 40 games since the start of 2015. He kept that incredible run going Thursday night with a goal just 5:03 minutes into the first period:

That was Stone’s 20th marker of the 2014-15 campaign. He’s emerged as a contender for the Calder Trophy, although Nashville’s Filip Forsberg and Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau are still ahead of him in the rookie scoring race.

Ottawa is three points behind Boston in the battle for the second Wild Card spot, but the Senators have played in one less game.

Bieksa admits chirping Gaustad was wrong, but felt Preds were embellishing

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Kevin Bieksa isn’t afraid of making accusations of embellishment. A couple of years ago, he called out the San Jose Sharks for a “lack of integrity.” Back in 2011, he called out his own Vancouver Canucks teammates for “crossing that line of integrity.”

The other night in Nashville, he had questions about the Predators.

Though Bieksa now admits it was wrong for him to taunt a prone Paul Gaustad after the Nashville forward was interfered with by Alex Burrows late in Tuesday’s game, the veteran defenseman apparently felt the Preds were, for lack of a better phrase, making the most of their injuries:

Not to excuse his actions in any way, but it’s not altogether surprising Bieksa was feeling frustrated. In the opening minutes of the game, he was given a minor penalty for hitting Viktor Stalberg in the head. As the Associated Press reported, the hit left “Stalberg on the ice for a couple of minutes before he skated to the bench.” The Preds then scored on the power play.

So you can imagine what Bieksa was thinking during the second period when Stalberg, not seriously injured after all, scored to give the Preds the lead.

Then, when Gaustad went down…

As it turned out, Gaustad was indeed hurt. In fact, he’s day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

Neither Burrows nor Bieksa received supplementary discipline for their actions Tuesday.

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.

More:

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.