The Morning Skate: 4/7

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:

Bruins 3, Islanders 2
Devils 4, Maple Leafs 2
Capitals 5, Panthers 2
Hurricanes 3, Red Wings 0
Blackhawks 4, Blues 3 (OT)
Flames 6, Oilers 1
Ducks 6, Sharks 2
Kings 3, Coyotes 2 (SO)
Predictions record: 6-2

My 3 stars of the night:
1. Corey Perry, ANA (3 Goals, 1 Assist)… Perry reached the 50-goal plateau with a hat trick last night in a must-win over San Jose.
2. Cam Ward, CAR (42 Saves, Shutout)
3. Jarome Iginla, CGY (3 Goals, 1 Assist)
Close but no cigar: S. Varlamov and A. Ovechkin, WSH; R. Getzlaf, ANA; A. Tanguay, CGY; E. Staal, CAR; J. Quick, LA; I. Kovalchuk, NJ; G. Campbell, BOS; N. Leddy and J. Toews, CHI; M. Grabner, NYI

Current playoff matchups:
Eastern Conference
1) Capitals vs. 8) Rangers
2) Flyers vs. 7) Sabres
3) Bruins vs. 6) Canadiens
4) Penguins vs. 5) Lightning
Western Conference
1) Canucks vs. 8) Blackhawks
2) Sharks vs. 7) Ducks
3) Red Wings vs. 6) Coyotes
4) Kings vs. 5) Predators

Tonight’s Slate:
Thrashers @ Rangers, 7:00 ET
Canadiens @ Senators, 7:00
Avalanche @ Stars, 8:30
Wild @ Canucks, 10:00

Game of the Night:
Atlanta Thrashers @ New York Rangers
7:00 ET… TV: VERSUS, Local Networks

Overall: Thrashers (33-34-12) … Rangers (43-32-5)
Last Ten: Thrashers (4-6-0) … Rangers (7-2-1)
Away/Home: Thrashers (16-19-5) … Rangers (19-16-4)
Season Series: 2-1 Thrashers

Players to watch:
ATL- Blake Wheeler
Wheeler scored twice on Tuesday in Nashville.
NYR- Brandon Dubinsky
With Callahan out, Dubinsky will need to step up even more.

Projected Goaltenders:
ATL- Ondrej Pavelec (2010/11 stats: 20-22-9, 2.72 GAA)
NYR- Henrik Lundqvist (2010/11 stats: 35-26-5, 2.27 GAA)

Injury Report:
ATL- Tobias Enstrom (shoulder, doubtful), Radek Dvorak and Patrice Cormier (upper body, out), Jim Slater (concussion, out), Freddy Meyer (head, out)
NYR- Ryan Callahan (leg, out), Chris Drury and Alexander Frolov (knee, out), Martin Biron (shoulder, out), Derek Boogaard (concussion, out)

Game Thoughts:
The Blueshirts come into tonight’s game needing two points with Carolina nipping at their heels. Monday’s emotional comeback came at a price, as Ryan Callahan went down with a broken leg. Meanwhile, Atlanta seemingly has nothing to play for; they proved just that in their 6-3 at Nashville. Though they have won in their last four trips to MSG, I like the Rangers in this one.
Prediction: Rangers 3, Thrashers 1

The rest of tonight’s predictions:
Senators over Canadiens
Stars over Avalanche
Canucks over Wild (Lock of the night)

Video of the Day: