The Morning Skate: 3/12

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:
Islanders 4, Bruins 2
Capitals 2, Hurricanes 1
Kings 4, Blue Jackets 2
Red Wings 2, Oilers 1 (OT)
Devils 3, Thrashers 2 (OT)
Senators 2, Lightning 1
Stars 4, Wild 0
Ducks 6, Avalanche 2
Predictions record: 5-3

My 3 stars of the night:
1. Anze Kopitar, LA (3 Goals)… Kopitar’s hat trick carried the Kings past Columbus for a huge win in the West.
2. Braden Holtby, WSH (40 Saves, 1 GA)
3. Travis Zajac, NJ (2 Goals)
Close but no cigar: D. Dubnyk, EDM; R. Getzlaf, ANA; C. McElhinney, OTT; P. Datsyuk, DET; J. Williams, LA; M. Ribeiro and K. Lehtonen, DAL; M. Moulson, NYI

Today’s Slate:
Canadiens @ Penguins, 2:00 ET
Sabres @ Maple Leafs, 7:00
Islanders @ Devils, 7:00
Thrashers @ Flyers, 7:00
Blue Jackets @ Hurricanes, 7:00
Lightning @ Panthers, 7:00
Red Wings @ Blues, 8:00
Avalanche @ Predators, 8:00
Canucks @ Flames, 10:00
Rangers @ Sharks, 10:30

Games of the Day:
Montreal Canadiens @ Pittsburgh Penguins
2:00 ET… TV: CBC, Local Networks

Overall: Canadiens (37-24-7) … Penguins (39-21-8)
Last Ten: Canadiens (6-4-0) … Penguins (4-2-4)
Away/Home: Canadiens (16-16-1) … Penguins (21-11-2)
Season Series: 2-1 Canadiens

Players to watch:
MTL- Tomas Plekanec
Plekanec needs to put forth a strong two-way effort.
PIT- Alex Kovalev
Can Kovalev break out for the Pens against his former ‘mates?

Projected Goaltenders:
MTL- Carey Price (2010/11 stats: 32-22-6, 2.33 GAA)
PIT- Marc-Andre Fleury (2010/11 stats: 30-16-5, 2.33 GAA)

Injury Report:
MTL- Brent Sopel (upper body, questionable), Jaroslav Spacek, Andrei Markov and Josh Gorges (knee, out), Max Pacioretty (concussion, out), Mathieu Darche (groin, out)
PIT- Sidney Crosby, Arron Asham and Eric Tangradi (concussion, out), Evgeni Malkin (knee, out), Brooks Orpik (finger, out), Nick Johnson (upper body, out), Mike Comrie (hip, out)

Game Thoughts:
Playoff foes from last spring, Montreal and Pittsburgh, meet up for the final time this afternoon. The Canadiens had their five-game win streak snapped on Thursday. They will look to bounce back tonight against a Pens team that is 3-0-2 in their last five and is building some confidence. This should be a tightly-contested game… go with Pittsburgh.
Prediction: Penguins 2, Canadiens 1

Vancouver Canucks @ Calgary Flames
10:00 ET… TV: CBC

Overall: Canucks (44-16-9) … Flames (36-25-9)
Last Ten: Canucks (7-3-0) … Flames (6-3-1)
Away/Home: Canucks (21-9-4) … Flames (21-10-4)
Season Series: 3-1 Canucks

Players to watch:
VAN- Ryan Kesler
Can Kesler snap his 11-game goal drought tonight in Calgary?
CGY- Curtis Glencross
Glencross has been a point-per-game player since the All-Star break.

Projected Goaltenders:
VAN- Roberto Luongo (2010/11 stats: 31-13-7, 2.22 GAA)
CGY- Miikka Kiprusoff (2010/11 stats: 32-20-5, 2.56 GAA)

Injury Report:
VAN- Kevin Bieksa (foot, out), Alexander Edler (back, out), Andrew Alberts (wrist, out)
CGY- Brendan Morrison (knee, out), Adam Pardy (shoulder, out), Daymond Langkow (neck, out), Raitis Ivanans (concussion, out)

Game Thoughts:
Hockey Night in Canada’s nightcap should be a doozie! Vancouver, rolling in with four straight wins, will take on rival Calgary at the Saddledome in a possible playoff preview. The Canucks have taken three of four in this season series thus far, so Jarome Iginla and company will be looking to solve them tonight. Calgary keeps it close, but Vancouver makes it five straight.
Prediction: Canucks 3, Flames 2

The rest of tonight’s predictions:
Maple Leafs over Sabres
Devils over Islanders
Flyers over Thrashers
Hurricanes over Blue Jackets
Lightning over Panthers
Blues over Red Wings
Predators over Avalanche
Sharks over Rangers

Video of the Day: