The Morning Skate: 3/6

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 5, Blues 2
Sabres 5, Flyers 3
Canucks 3, Kings 1
Penguins 3, Bruins 2 (OT)
Blackhawks 5, Maple Leafs 3
Thrashers 4, Panthers 3 (OT)
Canadiens 4, Lightning 2
Coyotes 5, Red Wings 4 (SO)
Oilers 5, Avalanche 1
Stars 3, Sharks 2
Predictions record: 5-5

My 3 stars of the night:
1. Andrew Ladd, ATL (2 Goals, 1 Assist)… Ladd kept Atlanta in the picture at least for a few more days with his two-goal, three-point performance, which included the OT winner.
2. Dustin Jeffrey, PIT (2 Goals)
3. Carey Price, MTL (43 Saves, 2 GA)
Close but no cigar: M. Pacioretty, MTL; A. MacDonald, NYI; M. Hossa and C. Crawford, CHI; S. Gagner, EDM; J. Benn, DAL; B. Wheeler, ATL; M. Fleury, PIT; J. Pominville, BUF

Today’s Slate:
Flyers @ Rangers, 12:30 ET
Devils @ Islanders, 3:00
Capitals @ Panthers, 5:00
Sabres @ Wild, 6:00
Predators @ Flames, 8:00
Canucks @ Ducks, 8:00

Games of the Day:
Philadelphia Flyers @ New York Rangers
12:30 ET… TV: NBC

Overall: Flyers (40-18-6) … Rangers (34-29-4)
Last Ten: Flyers (4-5-1) … Rangers (5-5-0)
Away/Home: Flyers (20-8-3) … Rangers (14-16-3)
Season Series: 4-0 Flyers

Players to watch:
PHI- Danny Briere
Briere usually has success against New York and is due for a big game.
NYR- Wojtek Wolski
Wolski has 15 points and a plus-11 rating in 24 games as a Ranger.

Projected Goaltenders:
PHI- Brian Boucher (2010/11 stats: 15-7-2, 2.33 GAA)
NYR- Henrik Lundqvist (2010/11 stats: 26-23-4, 2.33 GAA)

Injury Report:
PHI- Dan Carcillo (flu, questionable), Oskars Bartulis (shoulder, out), Ian Laperriere (head, out)
NYR- Marian Gaborik (concussion, doubtful), Ryan McDonagh (knee, questionable), Chris Drury and Alexander Frolov (knee, out), Martin Biron (collarbone, out), Derek Boogaard (concussion, out)

Game Thoughts:
Today marks the fifth time these rivals meet, and the Flyers have taken all four of the previous games. The Rangers are feeling some pressure after dropping four straight at home. Philly has lost three in a row overall, seeing their conference lead shrink considerably. You can bet this will be a hard-fought tilt; I see the Flyers grinding out a win.
Prediction: Flyers 3, Rangers 2

Nashville Predators @ Calgary Flames
8:00 ET… TV: Local Networks

Overall: Predators (33-23-9) … Flames (34-24-9)
Last Ten: Predators (4-4-2) … Flames (6-3-1)
Away/Home: Predators (18-16-2) … Flames (20-10-4)
Season Series: 3-0 Flames

Players to watch:
NSH- Patric Hornqvist
Nashville needs more from Hornqvist, who has 2 goals in the last 15 games.
CGY- Jarome Iginla
Captain Iginla has always had the Predators’ number.

Projected Goaltenders:
NSH- Pekka Rinne (2010/11 stats: 23-18-7, 2.08 GAA)
CGY- Miikka Kiprusoff (2010/11 stats: 30-20-5, 2.56 GAA)

Injury Report:
NSH- Steve Sullivan (groin, out), Marcel Goc (shoulder, out), Francis Bouillon and Matthew Lombardi (concussion, out), Cal O’Reilly (leg, out)
CGY- Brendan Morrison (knee, questionable), Mikael Backlund (flu, questionable), Adam Pardy (shoulder, out), Daymond Langkow (neck, out), Raitis Ivanans (concussion, out)

Game Thoughts:
Another night, another huge game in the Western Conference. Nashville makes their way to Calgary after a shutout win in Vancouver. Though Rinne has been hot, he has yet to beat the Flames in his career. Meanwhile, Brent Sutter’s club is 9-1-3 in their last 13 home games, currently sitting in fifth in the conference. Calgary has won three close games against Nashville this year; the tides turn tonight.
Prediction: Predators 2, Flames 1 (SO)

The rest of tonight’s predictions:
Devils over Islanders
Capitals over Panthers (Lock of the night)
Wild over Sabres
Canucks over Ducks

Video of the Day: