Ilya Bryzgalov’s struggles with Flyers continues…Blues on pace for strong finish to this season…Steven Stamkos scores his 40th as Lightning down Capitals…Martin Brodeur hopes today’s game in Montreal not his last homecoming…Radim Vrbata scores in OT as Coyotes edge Stars…Kings offense continues to sputter…Blackhawks win second straight…Matt Duchene returns to Avalanche lineup…Islanders down Hurricanes…Wild in free-fall.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov feels like a scapegoat for the club’s recent woes, as he continues struggling to adjust playing in the most demanding hockey market of his career. Bryzgalov was pulled midway through yesterday’s 6-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, in which Penguins winger James Neal notched his 30th goal of the season.
STLTODAY.COM: Bernie Miklasz reports the Blues are headed for one of the best seasons in franchise history, courtesy of their strong goaltending and defensive play.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I feel sorry for whichever team becomes the Blues first round opponent in this year’s playoffs.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Steven Stamkos reached the 40-goal mark for the third consecutive season (becoming the first Lightning player to achieve that milestone), as the Bolts downed the struggling Washington Capitals 2-1.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the absence of Sidney Crosby and the decline of Alexander Ovechkin, Stamkos is taking over as the NHL’s most exciting scorer.
NEW YORK POST: New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur hopes today’s game in his hometown of Montreal against the Canadiens won’t be his last homecoming as a player.
ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Radim Vrbata scored his league-tying 10th game-winning goal, as the Coyotes downed the Dallas Stars 2-1 in overtime.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ignore any talk of the Coyotes becoming “sellers” at the trade deadline.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings’ offensive woes this season continued, falling 1-0 to the Calgary Flames, and falling out of a playoff berth in the process.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings are averaging two goals per game, going nowhere fast offensively. A significant trade to bolster their offense could be in the works this week.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Blackhawks won their second straight game, thumping the woeful Columbus Blue Jackets 6-1.
DENVER POST: Center Matt Duchene returns to the Avalanche lineup for the first time in seven weeks as the Avs face the Winnipeg Jets.
NEWSDAY: John Tavares carried the Islanders to a 4-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.
TWINCITIES.COM: The Minnesota Wild’s losing woes continue, falling 4-0 to the St. Louis Blues, marking their 23rd loss in 28 games.