Alexander Ovechkin and Dion Phaneuf duel in Washington, Chris Pronger out with concussion symptoms, Devils still believe in Martin Brodeur, David Perron and Joe Thornton to face each for first time since Perron’s concussion, Blackhawks Michael Frolik struggling to score, Coyotes solid play has them tops in Pacific Division, Sabres get a rare home win, the schedule of events for 2012 All-Star Game in Ottawa, Gordie Howe sues former managers, why Rogers and Bell Media combined to buy MLSE, and a call not to be too hasty linking dementia to hockey fights.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin and Toronto’s Dion Phaneuf staged an intense duel during the Capitals 4-2 win over the Maple Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The two captains certainly gave a strong account against each other. Ovechkin appears to be regaining his aggressive form, which is key if the Capitals hope to climb back up in the standings this season.

PHILLY.COM: Flyers captain Chris Pronger and rookie Brayden Schenn are both out indefinitely with concussion-like symptoms. Pronger’s condition was earlier diagnosed as a “virus” prior to the announcement he would require knee surgery.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pronger’s virus had been suspected as a concussion by more than a few observers, so it doesn’t come as a surprise. It’s been a very difficult year for Pronger and Schenn, who’ve been plagued by one injury after another.

NEW YORK POST: Despite being pulled early in his last game, Martin Brodeur will get the start today as the Devils tangle with the Montreal Canadiens.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s becoming apparent age has finally caught up with Brodeur, once one of the most reliable “workhorse” goalies in the league. A poor outing against the Habs today could result in backup Johan Hedberg getting more starts in the near future.

Perron & Thornton to meet for first time since this incident a year ago.

STLTODAY.COM: Blues forward David Perron will face San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton today on the ice for the first time since Thornton sidelined Perron a year ago with a hit to the head.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thornton was suspended for two games for the blindside hit (left) to Perron, which put the latter on the sidelines with post-concussion symptoms for nearly a year.

SUNTIMES.COM: Blackhawks forward Michael Frolik is frustrated over his lack of offensive production this season, with only four goals – two of those empty-netters – and nine points in 27 games so far this season.

AZCENTRAL.COM: Strong play has the Phoenix Coyotes perched atop the Pacific Division.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So much media attention regarding the Coyotes is fixated upon their ownership situation that it is often overlooked how well they’re actually performing on the ice. 

THE BUFFALO NEWS: The Sabres won only their seventh home game of the season, downing the Florida Panthers 2-1 on an OT winner by Jason Pominville.

OTTAWA SUN: The list of events for the 2012 NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa.

DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings Hall of Famer Gordie Howe is suing his former business managers over claims they destroyed priceless tapes, videos and documents without his permission.

CBC.CA: Tim Wharnsby breaks down how rivals Rogers and Bell Media combined forces to purchase majority shares in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, and what it could mean for broadcast rights for Maple Leafs games in the future.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wharnsby’s employer should be especially concerned. Their contract to televise Leafs games on Saturday nights expires in 2014, and with two major cable companies now owning MLSE, those Saturday nights broadcast rights for CBC could be in jeopardy.

THE PROVINCE: Tony Gallagher believes there shouldn’t be a rush to judgment on concussions in hockey players leading to dementia, especially among players who engaged in numerous hockey fights in their careers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Gallagher does express a good point about the number of former players who have lived normal lives without signs of dementia in their post-playing careers, but we shouldn’t ignore the evidence revealed by the studies of the brains of late NHLers like Derek Boogaard, Bob Probert and Reg Fleming of dementia resulting from frequent head trauma.