The Morning Skate: 2/23


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:

Maple Leafs 2, Islanders 1
Coyotes 3, Flyers 2 (OT)
Rangers 4, Hurricanes 3 (SO)
Blue Jackets 4, Predators 0
Sharks 4, Red Wings 3
Avalanche 4, Blues 3
Wild 4, Oilers 1
Devils 1, Stars 0
Bruins 3, Flames 1
Canadiens 3, Canucks 2
Predictions record: 5-5

My 3 stars of the night:
1. Carey Price, MTL (37 Saves, 2 GA)… Price needed to come up big for the Habs, and he did just that with 37 saves in Vancouver.
2. Joe Thornton, SJ (1 Goal, 2 Assists)
3. Rick Nash, CBJ (2 Goals)
Close but no cigar: S. Mason, CBJ; J. Hedberg, NJ; P. Bouchard, MIN; P. Stastny, COL; D. Setoguchi, SJ; W. Wolski, NYR; I. Bryzgalov, PHX; T. Thomas, BOS; J. Reimer, TOR

Tonight’s Slate:
Thrashers @ Sabres, 7:00 ET
Panthers @ Senators, 7:00
Sharks @ Penguins, 7:30
Coyotes @ Lightning, 7:30
Oilers @ Avalanche, 9:30
Kings @ Ducks, 10:30

Games of the Night:
Phoenix Coyotes @ Tampa Bay Lightning
7:30 ET… TV: Local Networks

Overall: Coyotes (33-19-9) … Lightning (34-18-7)
Last Ten: Coyotes (8-2-0) … Lightning (5-3-2)
Away/Home: Coyotes (18-9-4) … Lightning (19-7-4)
Season Series: 1-0 Lightning

Players to watch:
PHX- Shane Doan
Tonight, Captain Doan surpasses Teppo Numminen for the franchise record in games played.
TB- Vincent Lecavalier
Lecavalier has played better since the break, and has 15 points in 15 career games vs. Phoenix.

Projected Goaltenders:
PHX- Jason LaBarbera (2010/11 stats: 6-5-3, 2.43 GAA)
TB- Dwayne Roloson (2010/11 stats: 15-19-2, 2.74 GAA)

Injury Report:
PHX- Ray Whitney (lower body, questionable), Ed Jovanovski (eye, out), Adrian Aucoin (lower body, out)
TB- Ryan Malone and Mike Lundin (abdominal, out), Matt Smaby (flu, questionable)

Game Thoughts:
The streaking Coyotes will make their way to Tampa for the back half of a back-to-back. They’ll be looking for their ninth consecutive win against a Lightning team that needs to get back on track. Guy Boucher’s club has struggled lately on their home-stand, losing their last three games and four of five. Phoenix’s streak has to come to an end at some point, right?
Prediction: Lightning 3, Coyotes 2

Wednesday Game of the Week:
Los Angeles Kings (32-23-4) @ Anaheim Ducks (32-24-4)
10:30 ET… TV: Local Networks
Season Series: Tied 1-1

Prediction: Kings 4, Ducks 3
More to come from this game…

The rest of tonight’s predictions:
Sabres over Thrashers
Panthers over Senators
Sharks over Penguins
Avalanche over Oilers

Morning Links:
Puck Daddy… Is it crunch-time for the Thrashers’ future?
Sporting News… Will the Caps respond to other moves made by Eastern Conference contenders?
The Fourth Period… My recent Q&A with the Nashville’s Mike Fisher.
Icethetics… This was released last week, but the Predators could be pursuing a yellow jersey for next year.

Video of the Day: