The Morning Skate: 3/4


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!  


Morning Links:
Sporting News… Craig Custance with a great piece on Chicago’s recent surge.
- SI… Michael Fraber profiles what some ex-coaches are doing nowadays.
- Puck Daddy… Jeff Angus with some late-season fantasy tips.


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The Morning After:
Yesterday’s scores:

Bruins 2, Lightning 1
Wild 3, Rangers 1
Maple Leafs 3, Flyers 2
Capitals 3, Blues 2
Hurricanes 3, Sabres 2 (OT)
Senators 3, Thrashers 1
Canadiens 4, Panthers 0
Oilers 4, Blue Jackets 2
Predators 3, Canucks 0
Kings 1, Coyotes 0
Sharks 3, Red Wings 1
Predictions record: 8-3

My 3 stars of the night:
1. Pekka Rinne, NSH (29 Saves, Shutout)… Rinne stood on his head and made some great saves, recording his fifth shutout of the year.
2. Jonathan Bernier, LA (25 Saves, Shutout)
3. Jose Theodore, MIN (40 Saves, 1 GA)
Close but no cigar: C. Price, MTL; C. Anderson, OTT; D. Heatley, SJ; J. McBain, CAR; D. Phaneuf, TOR

Tonight’s Slate:
Penguins @ Devils, 7:00 ET
Rangers @ Senators, 7:30
Hurricanes @ Blackhawks, 8:30
Blue Jackets @ Flames, 9:00
Stars @ Ducks, 10:00

Game of the Night:
Dallas Stars @ Anaheim Ducks
10:00 ET… TV: Local Networks

Overall: Stars (34-23-6) … Ducks (34-25-5)
Last Ten: Stars (4-5-1) … Ducks (5-4-1)
Away/Home: Stars (16-14-1) … Ducks (19-10-2)
Season Series: 2-1 Ducks

Players to watch:
DAL- Jamie Benn
The team is 3-1 since Benn returned from injury, and he scored the dramatic game-winner on Tuesday.
ANA- Bobby Ryan
There aren’t many hotter goal-scorers right now than Ryan, who has 15 tallies in his last 21 games.

Projected Goaltenders:
DAL- Kari Lehtonen (2010/11 stats: 26-18-6, 2.60 GAA)
ANA- Dan Ellis (2010/11 stats: 15-7-7, 2.83 GAA)

Injury Report:
DAL- Brad Richards (concussion, doubtful), Nicklas Grossman (hip, doubtful)
ANA- Jonas Hiller (vertigo, out), Saku Koivu (groin, out)

Game Thoughts:
Both the Stars and Ducks are sitting just on the fringe of the top eight in the West, so you know the stakes are high tonight. This is the first of three remaining meetings between the two. Also, both clubs are coming off dramatic wins, so it’ll be interesting to see how it carries over. This game is pretty much a toss-up… I think I like the Stars.
Prediction: Stars 3, Ducks 2 (SO)

The rest of tonight’s predictions:
Devils over Penguins
Rangers over Senators
Blackhawks over Hurricanes
Flames over Blue Jackets


Video of the Day