The Morning Skate: 3/23

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:
Bruins 4, Devils 1
Rangers 1, Panthers 0
Hurricanes 4, Senators 3
Capitals 5, Flyers 4 (SO)
Sabres 2, Canadiens 0
Islanders 5, Lightning 2
Predators 3, Oilers 1
Maple Leafs 3, Wild 0
Avalanche 5, Blue Jackets 4 (SO)
Coyotes 2, Blues 1
Predictions record: 4-6

My 3 stars of the night:
1. Ryan Miller, BUF (31 Saves, Shutout)… Miller helped Buffalo rebound from their collapse on Sunday with a big shutout.
2. Henrik Lundqvist, NYR (22 Saves, Shutout)
3. James Reimer, TOR (29 Saves, Shutout)
Close but no cigar: T. Thomas and M. Lucic, BOS; C. LaRose, CAR; M. Duchene, COL; M. Knuble, WSH; D. Legwand, NSH; L. Korpikoski, PHX; M. Grabovski, TOR; A. Montoya, NYI; N. Gerbe, BUF; R. Umberger, CBJ

Tonight’s Slate:
Canucks @ Red Wings, 7:30 ET
Panthers @ Blackhawks, 8:30
Ducks @ Stars, 8:30
Flames @ Sharks, 10:00

Games of the Night:
Anaheim Ducks @ Dallas Stars
8:30 ET… TV: Local Networks

Overall: Ducks (40-27-5) … Stars (38-25-9)
Last Ten: Ducks (8-2-0) … Stars (5-2-3)
Away/Home: Ducks (17-15-3) … Stars (20-11-7)
Season Series: 3-1 Ducks

Players to watch:
ANA- Corey Perry
Perry is knocking on the door of his first career 40-goal campaign.
DAL- Alex Goligoski
Goligoski has fit in really well in Dallas, ranking third in the NHL in plus/minus (+27).

Projected Goaltenders:
ANA- Ray Emery (2010/11 stats: 2-0-0, 0.87 GAA)
DAL- Kari Lehtonen (2010/11 stats: 30-20-9, 2.55 GAA)

Injury Report:
ANA- Jonas Hiller (vertigo, out)
DAL- Loui Eriksson (concussion, doubtful), Karlis Skrastins (thigh, doubtful), Brian Sutherby (back, doubtful), Nicklas Grossman (knee, out), Adam Burish (leg, out)

Game Thoughts:
This is obviously one of the biggest games remaining on the NHL slate. A regulation win for either Dallas or Anaheim, tied at 85 points, would go a long way in the end. Anaheim, coming off two huge overtime wins, is playing a lot better on the road (8-2 since Jan. 22). Meanwhile, it’s hard to judge what Stars team shows up on a night-to-night basis. They are looking to finish their long home-stand on a high note. I’ll side with the home team in a toss-up.
Prediction: Stars 4, Ducks 3 (SO)

Wednesday Game of the Week:
Vancouver Canucks (47-17-9) @ Detroit Red Wings (43-21-9)
7:30 ET… TV: TSN, VERSUS, Local Networks
Season Series: 2-1 Red Wings

Prediction: Red Wings 3, Canucks 2
More to come from this game…

The rest of tonight’s predictions:
Blackhawks over Panthers
Flames over Sharks

Video of the Day:

The Playoff Drive:
Countdown – 21 days

SportsClubStats swing game of the day:
Anaheim @ Dallas
Ducks’ playoff chances w/ win: 73.7% (+14.7)
With a loss: 45.5% (-13.5)
Stars’ playoff chances w/ win: 78.3% (+11.3)
With a loss: 50.6% (-16.4)

Playoff video of the day: