The Morning Skate: 3/8

 
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:
Capitals 2, Lightning 1 (SO)
Blues 5, Blue Jackets 4 (SO)
Stars 4, Kings 3 (OT)
Predictions record: 1-2

My 3 stars of the night:
1. Braden Holtby, WSH (21 Saves, 0 GA)… Holtby was thrown into the fire in the final two periods of a huge tilt, and responded well by not letting any pucks past him.
2. Mike Ribeiro, DAL (1 Goal, 2 Assists)
3. Andy McDonald, STL (2 Goals)

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Tonight’s Slate:
Senators @ Devils, 7:00 ET
Maple Leafs @ Islanders, 7:00
Oilers @ Flyers, 7:00
Sabres @ Penguins, 7:00
Bruins @ Canadiens, 7:30
Blackhawks @ Panthers, 7:30
Avalanche @ Wild, 8:00
Canucks @ Coyotes, 9:00
Predators @ Sharks, 10:30

Games of the Night:
Boston Bruins @ Montreal Canadiens
7:00 ET… TV: Local Networks

Records:
Overall: Bruins (38-19-8) … Canadiens (36-23-7)
Last Ten: Bruins (7-2-1) … Canadiens (6-3-1)
Away/Home: Bruins (22-7-4) … Canadiens (20-8-6)
Season Series: 3-1 Canadiens

Players to watch:
BOS- Brad Marchand
The rookie has slowed down a bit, but Marchand needs to be a sparkplug tonight.
MTL- Max Pacioretty
Pacioretty has had Boston’s number so far this year.

Projected Goaltenders:
BOS- Tim Thomas (2010/11 stats: 29-8-7, 1.97 GAA)
MTL- Carey Price (2010/11 stats: 31-21-6, 2.34 GAA)

Injury Report:
BOS- Marc Savard and Steven Kampfer (concussion, out), Andrew Ference (knee, out)
MTL- Andrei Markov, Jaroslav Spacek and Josh Gorges (knee, out), Mathieu Darche (groin, out)

Game Thoughts:
The best and most historic rivalry in the league ratchets up tonight in Montreal. The Bruins had their seven-game win streak snapped on Saturday, and will be trying to get back on track. They have had a tough time with the Habs this year, who have won four straight. If you remember their last tilt, the two teams totaled 192 penalty minutes in a fight-filled affair. This should be more subdued, but will still have a playoff intensity. I like Boston to bounce back.
Prediction: Bruins 3, Canadiens 1

Vancouver Canucks @ Phoenix Coyotes
9:00 ET… TV: Local Networks

Records:
Overall: Canucks (42-16-9) … Coyotes (34-23-10)
Last Ten: Canucks (6-4-0) … Coyotes (5-4-1)
Away/Home: Canucks (19-9-4) … Coyotes (16-11-5)
Season Series: Tied 1-1

Players to watch:
VAN- Alex Burrows
He has 3 points in the last 10 games, but Burrows needs to be that effective, on-edge player he usually is.
PHX- Ray Whitney
Whitney has been hot and has had success vs. Vancouver in his career.

Projected Goaltenders:
VAN- Roberto Luongo (2010/11 stats: 30-13-7, 2.21 GAA)
PHX- Ilya Bryzgalov (2010/11 stats: 28-17-7, 2.60 GAA)

Injury Report:
VAN- Mason Raymond (shoulder, questionable), Kevin Bieksa (foot, out), Alexander Edler (back, out), Chris Higgins (thumb, out), Andrew Alberts (wrist, out)
PHX- Derek Morris (lower body, questionable), Ed Jovanovski (eye, out)

Game Thoughts:
Vancouver continues their road trip tonight in Phoenix in what could be a playoff preview. This is their third meeting out of four this season. Alain Vigneault’s club won two games in SoCal over the weekend and will look to keep up that success. Meanwhile, the Coyotes are coming off their biggest win of the year. Will the momentum carryover or is a letdown in store? I’ll go with the former as the Desert Dogs edge the ‘Nucks.
Prediction: Coyotes 3, Canucks 2

The rest of tonight’s predictions:
Devils over Senators (Lock of the night)
Islanders over Maple Leafs
Flyers over Oilers
Sabres over Penguins
Blackhawks over Panthers
Wild over Avalanche
Sharks over Predators
 

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