The Morning Skate: 3/25


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 7, Canadiens 0
Thrashers 2, Islanders 1
Senators 2, Rangers 1 (SO)
Penguins 2, Flyers 1 (SO)
Blues 4, Oilers 0
Predators 5, Ducks 4
Maple Leafs 4, Avalanche 3
Coyotes 3, Blue Jackets 0
Kings 4, Sharks 3 (SO)
Predictions record: 5-4

My 3 stars of the night:
1. Dustin Brown, LA (2 Goals, SO Goal)… Not only did Captain Brown score twice in regulation, he picked up the shootout winner for a huge two points.
2. Ilya Bryzgalov, PHX (28 Saves, Shutout)
3. Patrick Marleau, SJ (2 Goals, 1 Assist)
Close but no cigar: Z. Chara and N. Horton, BOS; S. Kostitsyn, NSH; N. Kulemin, TOR; C. Perry, ANA; C. Anderson, OTT; T. Oshie, STL

Tonight’s Slate:
Devils @ Penguins, 7:00 ET
Panthers @ Sabres, 7:30
Capitals @ Senators, 7:30
Canucks @ Thrashers, 7:30
Hurricanes @ Lightning, 7:30

Game of the Night:
Carolina Hurricanes @ Tampa Bay Lightning
7:30 ET… TV: Local Networks

Overall: Hurricanes (34-29-10) … Lightning (39-23-11)
Last Ten: Hurricanes (5-4-1) … Lightning (2-4-4)
Away/Home: Hurricanes (14-17-6) … Lightning (22-10-5)
Season Series: 2-1 Lightning

Players to watch:
CAR- Eric Staal
Captain Staal has 49 points in 44 career games against the Bolts.
TB- Steven Stamkos
‘Stammer’ is a minus-6 in his last three games (0 points). How will he respond tonight?

Projected Goaltenders:
CAR- Cam Ward (2010/11 stats: 31-24-9, 2.62 GAA)
TB- Dwayne Roloson (2010/11 stats: 20-23-5, 2.62 GAA)

Injury Report:
CAR- Eric Staal (lower body, probable), Jamie McBain (shoulder, questionable)
TB- Steve Downie (ankle, doubtful), Randy Jones (ankle, out), Ryan Malone (abdominal, out)

Game Thoughts:
It has gotten to a point where the Hurricanes need to accumulate points every night (preferably two). They are hoping that it helps that they are catching the fading Lightning at the right time as they kick off a home-and-home. Tampa Bay has been inconsistent since the All-Star break, and even worse in March. The home team has had the upper hand in recent years, so I’ll side with the Bolts in this one.
Prediction: Lightning 3, Hurricanes 2 (SO)

The rest of tonight’s predictions:
Devils over Penguins
Sabres over Panthers (Lock of the night)
Capitals over Senators
Canucks over Thrashers

SportsClubStats swing game of the day:
Carolina @ Tampa Bay
Hurricanes’ playoff chances w/ win: 32.5% (+9.0)
With a loss: 15.2% (-8.3)