Patrick Cloonan of the McKeesport Daily News reports that “the race to the Stanley Cup continues to be a winner” for Fox Sports Pittsburgh.

The cable net claimed an 18.56 rating for the April 29 Pens game with the Rangers, notes Cloonan, topping even “Dancing With The Stars” on WTAE-TV (4), which scored a 13.55.

In other items, Cloonan (whose column still isn’t online … hey, Trib Total Media, what year is this?) reports that Chris Matthews of MSNBC is backing off of a statement that he made to an Erie reporter that he planned to run against U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter in 2010.

Matthews has told HBO’s Bill Maher that he’s “not getting involved” in the race.

Cloonan also logs several changes to weekend programming at classical music pubcaster WQED-FM (89.3). “Saturday at the Opera” (2 p.m. Saturdays) will fill the months when broadcasts of New York’s Metropolitan Opera goes on hiatus.

“Sunday Baroque” with Suzanne Bona now airs at 7 a.m., and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra concerts hosted by Jim Cunningham will air Sundays at 8 p.m.