The Morning Skate: 2/21


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:

Capitals 2, Sabres 1
Flyers 4, Rangers 2
Red Wings 2, Wild 1 (SO)
Blackhawks 3, Penguins 2 (SO)
Flames 4, Canadiens 0
Predictions record: 4-1

My 3 stars of the night:
1. Rene Bourque, CGY (2 Goals)… Bourque shined in the Heritage Classic, scoring two big goals and recording 11 shots.
2. Miikka Kiprusoff, CGY (39 Saves, Shutout)
3. Mathieu Perreault, WSH (1 Goal, 1 Assist)

If the playoffs started today…
Eastern Conference:
1) PHI vs. 8) CAR
2) TB vs. 7) NYR
3) BOS vs. 6) MTL
4) PIT vs. 5) WSH
Western Conference:
1) VAN vs. 8) DAL
2) DET vs. 7) MIN
3) PHX vs. 6) CGY
4) SJ vs. 5) NSH

Today’s Slate:
Panthers @ Islanders, 1:00 ET
Blackhawks @ Blues, 2:00
Capitals @ Penguins, 7:30

Game of the Night:
Washington Capitals @ Pittsburgh Penguins

Overall: Capitals (31-19-10) … Penguins (36-19-5)
Last Ten: Capitals (4-5-1) … Penguins (5-4-1)
Away/Home: Capitals (14-12-3) … Penguins (20-10-1)
Season Series: 2-0-1 Capitals

Players to watch:
WSH- Alex Ovechkin
With five points in the last three games, Ovechkin is resembling his usual self.
PIT- Brett Sterling
Since being called up, Sterling has five points in five games.

Projected Goaltenders:
WSH- Semyon Varlamov (2010/11 stats: 9-8-4, 2.32 GAA)
PIT- Marc-Andre Fleury (2010/11 stats: 27-14-2, 2.29 GAA)

Injury Report:
WSH- Mike Green (ear, questionable), Eric Fehr (shoulder, out), Tom Poti (lower body, out)
PIT- Jordan Staal (undisclosed, probable), Sidney Crosby, Arron Asham and Eric Tangradi (concussion, out), Evgeni Malkin and Mark Letestu (knee, out), Chris Kunitz and Dustin Jeffrey (lower body, out), Nick Johnson (upper body, out), Mike Comrie (hip, out)

Game Thoughts:
Washington and Pittsburgh close out their season series tonight in Pittsburgh. It’s a head-to-head matchup that the Caps have dominated over the last three years (9-0-2 in last 11 meetings, not including playoffs). They have won two of their last three, but are still going through inconsistencies. The Pens will look to keep it simple as they try to solve Ovechkin and company. I don’t think they will… go with the Caps.
Prediction: Capitals 3, Penguins 2

The rest of tonight’s predictions:
Islanders over Panthers
Blackhawks over Blues

Video of the Day: