The Morning Skate: 3/30

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:
Maple Leafs 4, Sabres 3
Flyers 5, Penguins 2
Hurricanes 3, Capitals 2 (SO)
Blue Jackets 3, Panthers 2 (SO)
Bruins 3, Blackhawks 0
Canadiens 3, Thrashers 1
Lightning 5, Senators 2
Wild 3, Blues 2 (SO)
Canucks 3, Predators 1
Kings 2, Oilers 0
Coyotes 2, Stars 1 (SO)
Predictions record: 7-4

My 3 stars of the night:
1. Tim Thomas, BOS (32 Saves, Shutout)… The Vezina favorite continued his hot streak with his 9th shutout of the season.
2. Ilya Bryzgalov, PHX (44 Saves, 1 GA)
3. Ville Leino, PHI (2 Goals, 1 Assist)
Close but no cigar: J. Bernier and D. Brown, LA; C. Ward and J. Skinner, CAR; M. St. Louis and D. Moore, TB; A. Burrows, VAN; C. Price, MTL; C. MacArthur, TOR

Tonight’s Slate:
Rangers @ Sabres, 7:00 ET
Islanders @ Devils, 7:00
Canadiens @ Hurricanes, 7:00
Blues @ Red Wings, 7:30
Ducks @ Flames, 9:30

Games of the Night:
New York Rangers @ Buffalo Sabres
7:00 ET… TV: VERSUS, Local Networks

Overall: Rangers (41-30-5) … Sabres (38-29-9)
Last Ten: Rangers (8-1-1) … Sabres (6-3-1)
Away/Home: Rangers (23-14-1) … Sabres (18-16-4)
Season Series: 2-1 Rangers

Players to watch:
NYR- Marian Gaborik
Gaborik has a three-game pointless drought, so he’s due for a big night.
BUF- Nathan Gerbe
The diminutive Gerbe has been a sparkplug for Buffalo, with five goals in the last six games.

Projected Goaltenders:
NYR- Henrik Lundqvist (2010/11 stats: 33-24-5, 2.24 GAA)
BUF- Ryan Miller (2010/11 stats: 33-22-8, 2.60 GAA)

Injury Report:
NYR- Chris Drury and Alexander Frolov (knee, out), Martin Biron (collarbone, out), Derek Boogaard (concussion, out)
BUF- Mike Griere (knee, questionable), Jordan Leopold (hand, out), Derek Roy (quad, out), Patrick Kaleta and Patrick Lalime (knee, out)

Game Thoughts:
The Rangers and Sabres will continue to jostle for playoff positioning in tonight’s tilt at HSBC Arena. Ryan Miller and company lost a close one in Toronto last night, while the Rangers are playing some of their best hockey of the year (but need to score more). I think this will be a tight game, but the Sabres can’t afford to lose with Carolina and Toronto lurking.
Prediction: Sabres 3, Rangers 1

Wednesday Game of the Week:
Anaheim Ducks (43-28-5) @ Calgary Flames (38-28-11)
9:30 ET… TV: TSN, Local Networks
Season Series: 3-0 Ducks

Prediction: Flames 3, Ducks 2 (OT)
More to come from this game…

The rest of tonight’s predictions:
Devils over Islanders
Canadiens over Hurricanes
Red Wings over Blues (Lock of the night)


Video of the Day:


SportsClubStats swing game of the day:
Anaheim @ Calgary
Ducks’ playoff chances w/ win: 92.4% (+9.7)
With a loss: 72.9% (-9.8)
Flames’ playoff chances w/ win: 11.1% (+4.6)
With a loss: 0.7% (-5.8)

Playoff video of the day: