The Morning Skate: 2/27

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:
Stars 3, Predators 2
Kings 4, Avalanche 3
Red Wings 3, Sabres 2 (SO)
Penguins 6, Maple Leafs 5 (SO)
Canadiens 4, Hurricanes 3
Senators 4, Flyers 1
Capitals 3, Islanders 2
Bruins 3, Canucks 1
Predictions record: 5-3

My 3 stars of the night:
1. Milan Lucic, BOS (1 Goal, 2 Assists)… Lucic had a nice homecoming in Vancouver, collecting three points and the game-winner.
2. Erik Condra, OTT (2 Goals)
3. Alex Goligoski, DAL (1 Goal, 1 Assist)

Today’s Slate:
Lightning @ Rangers, 1:00 ET
Blue Jackets @ Predators, 3:00
Maple Leafs @ Thrashers, 5:00
Devils @ Panthers, 5:00
Coyotes @ Blackhawks, 7:00
Blues @ Flames, 8:00
Bruins @ Oilers, 8:00
Avalanche @ Ducks, 8:00

Games of the Day:
Tampa Bay Lightning @ New York Rangers
1:00 ET… TV: Local Networks

Overall: Lightning (36-18-7) … Rangers (33-26-4)
Last Ten: Lightning (5-3-2) … Rangers (4-6-0)
Away/Home: Lightning (15-11-3) … Rangers (14-13-3)
Season Series: 3-0 Lightning

Players to watch:
TB- Martin St. Louis
St. Louis is currently on an eight-game point streak.
NYR- Bryan McCabe
McCabe is expected to make his debut with the Rangers against a familiar opponent.

Projected Goaltenders:
TB- Dwayne Roloson (2010/11 stats: 17-19-2, 2.70 GAA)
NYR- Henrik Lundqvist (2010/11 stats: 25-20-4, 2.33 GAA)

Injury Report:
TB- Mattias Ohlund (lower body, questionable), Ryan Malone and Mike Lundin (abdominal, out)
NYR- Marian Gaborik (concussion, out), Marc Staal, Chris Drury and Alexander Frolov (knee, out), Ruslan Fedotenko (shoulder, out), Derek Boogaard (concussion, out)

Game Thoughts:
The Bolts and Blueshirts will close out their season series in what could be a possible playoff preview. Guy Boucher’s club is coming off two solid wins, but is playing their first road game since before the All-Star break. John Tortorella’s gang blew out Washington 6-0 on Friday and will look to carry over that success. I think they will to finally solve Tampa.
Prediction: Rangers 4, Lightning 2

Phoenix Coyotes @ Chicago Blackhawks
7:00 ET… TV: NHL Net. (US), Local Networks

Overall: Coyotes (33-21-9) … Blackhawks (32-23-6)
Last Ten: Coyotes (8-2-0) … Blackhawks (5-3-2)
Away/Home: Coyotes (18-11-4) … Blackhawks (18-14-0)
Season Series: 2-0 Coyotes

Players to watch:
PHX- Shane Doan
Captain Doan had his six-game point streak snapped on Friday.
CHI- Marian Hossa
Hossa has been pretty effective in the last two games for the ‘Hawks.

Projected Goaltenders:
PHX- Ilya Bryzgalov (2010/11 stats: 27-15-6, 2.60 GAA)
CHI- Corey Crawford (2010/11 stats: 21-12-3, 2.11 GAA)

Injury Report:
PHX- Ray Whitney (lower body, questionable), Ed Jovanovski (eye, out), Adrian Aucoin (lower body, out)
CHI- Niklas Hjalmarsson (upper body, questionable), Fernando Pisani (concussion, questionable)

Game Thoughts:
The ‘Yotes and ‘Hawks meet up tonight for another critical game in the Western Conference. Chicago seems to be back on track after three straight wins; they have shown shades of last year’s team during this recent stretch. Phoenix has lost two in a row, but haven’t dropped three straight in regulation all year. I think that streak continues for Phoenix, but Chicago grabs the ‘W’.
Prediction: Blackhawks 3, Coyotes 2 (SO)

The rest of tonight’s predictions:
Predators over Blue Jackets (Lock of the day)
Thrashers over Maple Leafs
Devils over Panthers
Blues over Flames
Bruins over Oilers
Ducks over Avalanche

Video of the Day: