The Morning Skate: 2/13



RLD Hockey is an NHL blog of mine where we take a look at the hot topics around the league on a daily basis. One of our staples is the 'Morning Skate', where I rundown everything going on in the NHL, including predictions on the big games. The PensBlog has been nice enough to let me share the Morning Skate with you .  You can follow us on Twitter @RLDhockey!




The Morning After:
Yesterday’s scores:
Kings 4, Capitals 1
Senators 5, Oilers 3
Canadiens 3, Maple Leafs 0
Lightning 4, Hurricanes 3 (OT)
Predators 5, Avalanche 3
Coyotes 3, Blackhawks 2 (SO)
Wild 3, Blues 1
Canucks 4, Flames 2
Predictions record: 5-3

My 3 stars of the night:
1. Carey Price, MTL (27 Saves, Shutout)… Price delivered for the Habs – who needed a win against rival Toronto – with his sixth shutout of the season.
2. Mikael Samuelsson, VAN (2 Goals)
3. Anze Kopitar, LA (1 Goal, 1 Assist)

Today’s Slate:
Bruins @ Red Wings, 12:30 ET
Islanders @ Sabres, 3:00
Penguins @ Rangers, 3:00
Blue Jackets @ Stars, 3:00
Kings @ Flyers, 3:00
Hurricanes @ Thrashers, 5:00
Sharks @ Panthers, 5:00
Ducks @ Oilers, 8:00

Games of the Day:
Boston Bruins @ Detroit Red Wings
12:30 ET… TV: NBC

Overall: Bruins (31-17-7) … Red Wings (33-16-6)
Last Ten: Bruins (6-4-0) … Red Wings (5-5-0)
Away/Home: Bruins (16-6-4) … Red Wings (16-8-4)
Season Series: 1-0 Red Wings

Players to watch:
BOS- Milan Lucic
The B’s need ‘Looch’, who has 23 goals, to rise to the occasion in this one.
DET- Johan Franzen
Franzen has yet to score since his five-goal performance on Feb. 2; does he snap out of it today?

Projected Goaltenders:
BOS- Tim Thomas (2010/11 stats: 26-6-6, 1.92 GAA)
DET- Jimmy Howard (2010/11 stats: 27-10-3, 2.85 GAA)

Injury Report:
BOS- Marc Savard (concussion, out)
DET- Valterri Filppula (knee, out), Brad Stuart (jaw, out), Chris Osgood (groin, out), Mike Modano (wrist, out), Jan Mursak (toe, questionable)

Game Thoughts:
These Original Six foes will finish off their rare home-and-home today in the Motor City on NBC’s ‘Game of the Week’. The Wings took the first matchup 6-1 in Beantown, which will only inspire Claude Julien’s club to put forth a great effort today. Detroit has been inconsistent lately, but I think they’ll be able to fend off the B’s and complete the home-and-home sweep.
Prediction: Red Wings 3, Bruins 2 (OT)

Los Angeles Kings @ Philadelphia Flyers
3:00 ET… TV: Local Networks

Overall: Kings (23-26-6) … Flyers (30-20-6)
Last Ten: Kings (5-4-1) … Flyers (4-3-3)
Away/Home: Kings (10-15-1) … Flyers (18-7-5)
Season Series: 1-0 Flyers

Players to watch:
LA- Anze Kopitar
Kopitar has hit a bit of a dry spell in the last month, but is he back on track after yesterday’s two-point output.
PHI- Chris Pronger
Pronger will be a key player for Philly here, going up against a familiar foe of his.

Projected Goaltenders:
LA- Jonathan Quick (2010/11 stats: 24-14-2, 2.13 GAA)
PHI- Brian Boucher (2010/11 stats: 13-6-2, 2.25 GAA)

Injury Report:
LA- Marco Sturm (knee, out), Scott Parse (hip, out)
PHI- Ian Laperriere (head, out)

Game Thoughts:
Before the season, some people had this pegged as a possible Cup final matchup. Right now, L.A. is just trying to survive their Grammy’s road trip and get back into the top eight. They are 3-0-2 on the 10-game roadie thus far, coming off a win yesterday in D.C. Philadelphia is seeking their fourth straight win before heading out on the road. I like the Flyers here; it should be a good game.
Prediction: Flyers 3, Kings 2

Carolina Hurricanes @ Atlanta Thrashers
5:00 ET… TV: Local Networks

Overall: Hurricanes (26-22-8) … Thrashers (25-22-10)
Last Ten: Hurricanes (4-4-2) … Thrashers (3-4-3)
Away/Home: Hurricanes (12-13-6) … Thrashers (13-11-5)
Season Series: 3-0 Hurricanes

Players to watch:
CAR- Erik Cole
Cole has played better in the last month, and has scored a couple big goals recently.
ATL- Evander Kane
Kane has three goals in the last two games, including the big game-winner on Friday.

Projected Goaltenders:
CAR- Cam Ward (2010/11 stats: 23-18-7, 2.73 GAA)
ATL- Ondrej Pavelec (2010/11 stats: 18-15-8, 2.58 GAA)

Injury Report:
CAR- Jussi Jokinen (lower body, out), Ryan Carter (back, out)
ATL- Fredrik Modin and Freddy Meyer (upper body, questionable), Jim Slater (concussion, out)

Game Thoughts:
As we stand right now, the ‘Canes and Thrashers are knotted at 60 points and tied for eighth in the East. This evening’s game is a gigantic four-point swing. Carolina rallied to gain a point last night, but it’ll be a quick turnaround for them. Meanwhile, Atlanta had a crucial win over the Rangers on Friday and will look to carryover that success. Paul Maurice’s crew has taken the first three meetings, but I think the Thrashers solve the puzzle today.
Prediction: Thrashers 4, Hurricanes 3

The rest of tonight’s predictions:
Sabres over Islanders (Lock of the night)
Rangers over Penguins
Stars over Blue Jackets
Sharks over Panthers
Ducks over Oilers

Video of the Day: