The Morning Skate: 2/3

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:
Red Wings 7, Senators 5
Penguins 3, Islanders 0
Canadiens 3, Panthers 2
Canucks 6, Coyotes 0
Kings 3, Oilers 1
Sharks 4, Ducks 3
Predictions record: 4-2

My 3 stars of the night:
1. Johan Franzen, DET (5 Goals)… Franzen became the first NHLer since 2007 to net five goals in a game.
2. Brent Johnson, PIT (20 Saves, TKO)
3. Ryan Smyth, LA (2 Goals)
Close but no cigar: R. Kesler and R. Luongo, VAN; R. Clowe, SJ; M. Michalek, OTT

Tonight’s Slate:
Stars @ Bruins, 7:00 ET
Hurricanes @ Maple Leafs, 7:00
Devils @ Rangers, 7:00
Predators @ Flyers, 7:00
Flames @ Thrashers, 7:00
Wild @ Avalanche, 9:00

Games of the Night:
Dallas Stars @ Boston Bruins
7:00 ET… TV: Local Networks

Overall: Stars (30-16-5) … Bruins (29-15-7)
Last Ten: Stars (6-3-1) … Bruins (7-3-0)
Away/Home: Stars (14-9-1) … Bruins (13-9-3)
Season Series (09/10): 1-0 Bruins

Players to watch:
DAL- Mike Ribeiro
Ribeiro quietly has 17 points in his last 14 games.
BOS- Patrice Bergeron
Since Dec. 16, Bergeron has 26 points and a +15 rating.

Projected Goaltenders:
DAL- Andrew Raycroft (2010/11 stats: 8-4-0, 2.42 GAA)
BOS- Tim Thomas (2010/11 stats: 25-5-6, 1.82 GAA)

Injury Report:
DAL- Mark Fistric (illness, questionable), Jamie Benn and Tom Wandell (shoulder, out), Toby Petersen (lower body, out)
BOS- Marc Savard (concussion, out)

Game Thoughts:
To respective extents, both the Stars and Bruins are surprising division leaders here in early February. Dallas will be going with Raycroft between the pipes, who is much better at home this year than on the road. The B’s have won five of seven and are playing some of their best hockey. These inter-conference games are so hard to get a feel for. Since they are at home, I’ll go with Boston…
Prediction: Bruins 3, Stars 2

Nashville Predators @ Philadelphia Flyers
7:00 ET… TV: Local Networks

Overall: Predators (27-17-7) … Flyers (33-13-5)
Last Ten: Predators (5-4-1) … Flyers (7-3-0)
Away/Home: Predators (16-13-1) … Flyers (16-7-2)
Season Series (09/10): 1-0 Predators

Players to watch:
NSH- David Legwand
The Preds need a strong two-way effort from ‘Leggy’ against high-powered Philly.
PHI- Scott Hartnell
Look for the former Predator to be active tonight.

Projected Goaltenders:
NSH- Pekka Rinne (2010/11 stats: 17-13-5, 2.10 GAA)
PHI- Brian Boucher (2010/11 stats: 11-6-2, 2.38 GAA)

Injury Report:
NSH- Steve Sullivan (lower body, out), Francis Bouillon and Matthew Lombardi (concussion, out), Cal O’Reilly (leg, out), Marek Svatos (knee, out)
PHI- Jody Shelley (illness, questionable), Ian Laperriere (head, out)

Game Thoughts:
Another East-West game is highlighted tonight, as two hard-working teams faceoff in Philadelphia. The Predators will be looking to get back on track as they have lost three in a row, while the Flyers are trying to fend off the hard-charging Penguins and Lightning for the conference lead. I expect this to be a good game with Peter Laviolette’s gang getting the two points.
Prediction: Flyers 4, Predators 2

The rest of tonight’s predictions:
Hurricanes over Maple Leafs
Rangers over Devils
Flames over Thrashers
Wild over Avalanche

Morning Links:
Denver Post… There are now some doubts about a return of Peter Forsberg.
Toronto Sun… Is Tomas Kaberle willing to waive his no-trade clause?
SI… Where is the love for the Heritage Classic?
Bleeding All Blue… Did Brandon Prust dive on Jordan Staal’s punch?


Video of the Day:


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