The Morning Skate: 3/9

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:
Senators 2, Devils 1
Islanders 4, Maple Leafs 3 (OT)
Flyers 4, Oilers 1
Penguins 3, Sabres 1
Canadiens 4, Bruins 1
Panthers 3, Blackhawks 2
Wild 5, Avalanche 2
Canucks 4, Coyotes 3 (OT)
Sharks 3, Predators 2 (OT)
Predictions record: 4-5

My 3 stars of the night:
1. Dan Hamhuis, VAN (2 Goals)… Hamhuis scored twice for Vancouver, including the clutch overtime winner.
2. Lars Eller, MTL (2 Goals)
3. Jeff Carter, PHI (2 Goals)
Close but no cigar: T. Vokoun and D. Booth, FLA; E. Condra, OTT; H. Sedin, VAN; E. Belanger, PHX; B. Comeau, NYI; Z. Michalek, PIT; M. Havlat, MIN; P. Marleau, SJ

Tonight’s Slate:
Oilers @ Capitals, 7:00 ET
Thrashers @ Hurricanes, 7:00
Blues @ Blue Jackets, 7:00
Kings @ Red Wings, 7:30
Blackhawks @ Lightning, 7:30
Flames @ Stars, 9:00
Rangers @ Ducks, 10:30

Games of the Night:
Los Angeles Kings @ Detroit Red Wings
7:30 ET… TV: Local Networks

Overall: Kings (36-25-5) … Red Wings (39-19-8)
Last Ten: Kings (5-3-2) … Red Wings (5-3-2)
Away/Home: Kings (16-14-3) … Red Wings (17-10-4)
Season Series: 2-1 Kings

Players to watch:
LA- Drew Doughty
Doughty needs to put forth a great two-way effort tonight.
DET- Nicklas Lidstrom
The 40-year-old Norris contender is on a five-game point streak.

Projected Goaltenders:
LA- Jonathan Quick (2010/11 stats: 28-17-2, 2.22 GAA)
DET- Jimmy Howard (2010/11 stats: 31-12-5, 2.82 GAA)

Injury Report:
LA- Scott Parse (hip, out)
DET- Brian Rafalski (back, questionable), Patrick Eaves and Chris Osgood (groin, out)

Game Thoughts:
Los Angeles makes their way to Motown with big points on the line. Even though they have won in their last two trips to the Joe, the Kings usually struggle in Detroit. The Wings have lost three straight games, so you know they’ll be gunning for another win over L.A. in a span of nine days. I think the Wings will hold off the desperate Kings.
Prediction: Red Wings 3, Kings 1

Chicago Blackhawks @ Tampa Bay Lightning
7:30 ET… TV: Local Networks

Overall: Blackhawks (37-24-6) … Lightning (37-21-8)
Last Ten: Blackhawks (8-2-0) … Lightning (3-4-3)
Away/Home: Blackhawks (16-10-6) … Lightning (21-8-5)
Season Series (09/10): 1-0 Blackhawks

Players to watch:
CHI- Marian Hossa
Hossa has 55 points in 49 career games against the Lightning.
TB- Vincent Lecavalier
Lecavalier has played some of his better hockey in this season’s second half.

Projected Goaltenders:
CHI- Corey Crawford (2010/11 stats: 26-13-3, 2.25 GAA)
TB- Dwayne Roloson (2010/11 stats: 18-21-3, 2.63 GAA)

Injury Report:
CHI- Jordan Hendry (knee, out), Fernando Pisani (concussion, out)
TB- Steve Downie (lower body, questionable), Marc-Andre Bergeron (back, questionable), Ryan Malone and Mike Lundin (abdomen, out), Randy Jones (ankle, out)

Game Thoughts:
The red-hot Blackhawks had their win streak snapped in Florida last night; how will they respond in this intriguing inter-conference duel? Tampa Bay has been going the other direction, dropping four straight with the injuries piling up. It will be interesting to see how both teams come out of the gates. This is a hard one to call… go with the ‘Hawks.
Prediction: Blackhawks 4, Lightning 3

Wednesday Game of the Week:
Calgary Flames (35-24-9) @ Dallas Stars (36-23-7)
9:00 ET… TV: Local Networks
Season Series: 3-0 Flames

Prediction: Flames 3, Stars 2
More to come from this game…

The rest of tonight’s predictions:
Capitals over Oilers
Hurricanes over Thrashers (Lock of the night)
Blue Jackets over Blues
Rangers over Ducks

Video of the Day: