The Morning Skate: 2/18



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:

Bruins 6, Islanders 3
Rangers 4, Kings 3 (SO)
Red Wings 6, Lightning 2
Predators 3, Canucks 1
Oilers 4, Canadiens 1
Coyotes 4, Thrashers 3
Sharks 3, Capitals 2
Predictions record: 6-1

My 3 stars of the night:
1. Pekka Rinne, NSH (35 Saves, 1 GA)… Rinne had another sensational effort, stone-walling the high-powered Canucks with 35 saves.
2. Nikolai Khabibulin, EDM (36 Saves, 1 GA)
3. Pavel Datsyuk, DET (2 Goals)
Close but no cigar: D. Cleary, DET; D. Krejci, BOS; J. Pavelski, SJ; R. Callahan, NYR; L. Korpikoski, PHX; D. Brown, LA; R. Peverley, ATL; A. Ovechkin, WSH

Tonight’s Slate:
Rangers @ Devils, 7:00 ET
Blues @ Sabres, 7:30
Bruins @ Senators, 7:30
Red Wings @ Panthers, 7:30
Flyers @ Hurricanes, 8:00
Ducks @ Wild, 8:00
Blue Jackets @ Blackhawks, 8:30

Game of the Night:
Anaheim Ducks @ Minnesota Wild
8:00 ET… TV: Local Networks

Overall: Ducks (32-22-4) … Wild (30-22-5)
Last Ten: Ducks (7-3-0) … Wild (6-4-0)
Away/Home: Ducks (15-13-3) … Wild (14-12-2)
Season Series: 1-0-1 Ducks

Players to watch:
ANA- Bobby Ryan
Ryan is one of the hottest players in the league right now and has had success vs. Minnesota.
MIN- Cal Clutterbuck
Against a physical Anaheim club, look for Clutterbuck to play a big role tonight.

Projected Goaltenders:
ANA- Curtis McElhinney (2010/11 stats: 6-6-1, 3.15 GAA)
MIN- Niklas Backstrom (2010/11 stats: 18-13-3, 2.35 GAA)

Injury Report:
ANA- Jonas Hiller (dizziness, out)
MIN- Marek Zidlicky (shoulder, doubtful), Guillaume Latendresse (hip, out), Marco Scandella (concussion, out), James Sheppard and Josh Harding (knee, out)

Game Thoughts:
The Ducks and Wild, separated by three points, are jockeying for playoff positioning in the West. Anaheim’s recent spurt has allowed them to keep pace, but they will once again be without Hiller tonight. Minnesota is coming off two straight tough losses, so they need to bounce back in this one. I think they will at home and creep closer to the eighth spot.
Prediction: Wild 4, Ducks 2

The rest of tonight’s predictions:
Devils over Rangers
Sabres over Blues
Bruins over Senators
Red Wings over Panthers
Hurricanes over Flyers
Blackhawks over Blue Jackets

Video of the Day