The Morning Skate: 2/6


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:
Sharks 2, Bruins 0
Canadiens 2, Rangers 0
Ducks 3, Avalanche 0
Sabres 6, Maple Leafs 2
Islanders 5, Senators 3
Flyers 3, Stars 1
Hurricanes 4, Thrashers 3 (OT)
Blue Jackets 4, Oilers 3
Predators 3, Red Wings 0
Coyotes 1, Wild 0
Kings 4, Flames 3 (SO)
Predictions record: 8-3


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My 3 stars of the night (Goalies):
1. Pekka Rinne, NSH (35 Saves, Shutout)… The Wings could have thrown 50 shots on net and I don’t think they were beating ‘Peks’. Possibly the best performance of his career.
2. Carey Price, MTL (35 Saves, Shutout)
3. Antti Niemi, SJ (26 Saves, Shutout)
Close but no cigar: I. Bryzgalov, PHX; C. McElhinney, ANA; B. Boucher, PHI; N. Backstrom, MIN
My 3 stars of the night (Skaters):
1. R.J. Umberger, CBJ (2 Goals, 2 Assists)… Umberger’s four points helped Columbus rally past Edmonton.
2. Corey Perry, ANA (3 Goals)
3. Justin Williams, LA (1 Goal, 2 Assists, SO Goal)
Close but no cigar: D. Stafford, BUF; S. Kostitsyn, NSH; A. Tanguay, CGY; K. Huselius, CBJ; R. Schremp, NYI

Today’s Slate:
Penguins @ Capitals, 12:30 ET
Devils @ Canadiens, 3:00
Blues @ Lightning, 3:00

Game of the Day:
Pittsburgh Penguins @ Washington Capitals
12:30 ET… TV: NBC

Overall: Penguins (34-15-4) … Capitals (28-15-10)
Last Ten: Penguins (8-2-0) … Capitals (4-3-3)
Away/Home: Penguins (15-6-3) … Capitals (16-5-7)
Season Series: 1-0-1 Capitals

Players to watch:
PIT- Jordan Staal
Staal will have to continue to be a go-to-guy for the Pens.
WSH- Alex Ovechkin
Ovie is coming off a four-point performance, and has 17 goals in 22 career games against rival Pittsburgh.

Projected Goaltenders:
PIT- Marc-Andre Fleury (2010/11 stats: 25-11-2, 2.20 GAA)
WSH- Semyon Varlamov (2010/11 stats: 9-7-4, 2.13 GAA)

Injury Report:
PIT- Sidney Crosby (concussion, out), Evgeni Malkin and Mark Letestu (knee, out), Aaron Asham (upper body, doubtful), Mike Comrie (hip, out)
WSH- Alexander Semin (hip, doubtful), Eric Fehr (shoulder, out), Tom Poti (lower body, out)

Game Thoughts:
The hottest rivalry going on right now in the NHL resumes this afternoon in D.C. Injury-depleted Pittsburgh has a tough task against a Washington club that is coming off a huge win in Tampa Bay. Expect Bruce Boudreau to have his team ready for this one, while the Pens will try to keep the things simple and keep the score as low as possible. At home on Super Sunday, I like the Caps here…
Prediction: Capitals 3, Penguins 2

The rest of tonight’s predictions:
Devils over Canadiens
Lightning over Blues
Bonus pick: Packers over Steelers

Video of the Day: