Morning Skate Xtra: Tuesday, 3/31

BallHype: hype it up!
Tonight’s Slate:
Lightning @ Bruins, 7:00 ET

Predators @ Blue Jackets, 7:00
Blackhawks @ Canadiens, 7:30
Senators @ Panthers, 7:30
Canucks @ Wild, 8:00
Ducks @ Oilers, 9:30
Stars @ Kings, 10:30

Games of the Night:
Tampa Bay Lightning (24-35-17) @ Boston Bruins (48-17-10)

7:00 ET… TV: Local Networks

Players to watch:
TB- Steven Stamkos
BOS- Michael Ryder

Projected Goaltenders:
TB- Karri Ramo
(08-09 stats: 4-8-6, 3.52 GAA)
BOS- Tim Thomas (08-09 stats: 32-11-7, 2.13 GAA)

Season Series: 2-1 Bruins

Game Thoughts:
Boston is looking to extend their lead on WSH & NJ for the East lead, and I’ll think they’ll beat the Lightning to do so.

Prediction: Bruins 5, Lightning 2

Nashville Predators (38-30-8) @ Columbus Blue Jackets (39-29-8)
7:00 ET… TV: Local Networks

Players to watch:
NSH- Shea Weber
CBJ- Fedor Tyutin

Projected Goaltenders:
NSH- Pekka Rinne
(08-09 stats: 27-11-4, 2.26 GAA)
CBJ- Steve Mason (08-09 stats: 31-18-5, 2.24 GAA)

Season Series: Tied 2-2

Game Thoughts:
Columbus lost 2 games to the Blues this weekend… the Preds won twice in dramatic fashion. The Preds, with a win, can take the upper hand on the 6th seed with a regulation win. Keep this in mind… the Jackets have beaten the Preds twice at Nationwide Arena this year. Nashville usually dominates Columbus there. I like the Preds, though shorthanded.

Prediction: Predators 3, Blue Jackets 2

Chicago Blackhawks (40-23-11) @ Montreal Canadiens (38-27-10)

Players to watch:
CHI- Martin Havlat
MTL- Alexei Kovalev

Projected Goaltenders:
CHI- Nikolai Khabibulin
(08-09 stats: 20-8-6, 2.54 GAA)
MTL- Carey Price (08-09 stats: 22-14-9, 2.81 GAA)

Season Series: 1st Meeting

Game Thoughts:
I just think Montreal is going to make it hard on themselves to make the playoffs. This game is virtually a toss-up, and I have a gut feeling that Chicago will put out the win.

Prediction: Blackhawks 5, Canadiens 4 (OT)

Ottawa Senators (33-32-10) @ Florida Panthers (37-28-11)
7:30 ET… TV: Local Networks

Players to watch:
OTT- Daniel Alfredsson
FLA- David Booth

Projected Goaltenders:
OTT- Brian Elliott
(08-09 stats: 16-6-3, 2.64 GAA)
FLA- Tomas Vokoun (08-09 stats: 23-22-6, 2.49 GAA)

Season Series: 2-1 Panthers

Game Thoughts:
The Panthers must win this game for their playoff push. Ottawa is playing well, but I believe Vokoun & company will get the much-needed 2 points.

Prediction: Panthers 4, Senators 3

Vancouver Canucks (41-25-9) @ Minnesota Wild (36-32-8)
8:00 ET… TV: Local Networks

Players to watch:
VAN- The Sedins
MIN- Marian Gaborik

Projected Goaltenders:
VAN- Roberto Luongo
(08-09 stats: 29-11-6, 2.38 GAA)
MIN- Niklas Backstrom (08-09 stats: 34-23-7, 2.36 GAA)

Season Series: 4-1 Canucks

Game Thoughts:
The Canucks can claim the division lead tonight with a win… Minnesota needs a win here to keep up with the others ahead of them. Vancouver won 4-0 in Chicago the other night, and I expect ‘em to come away victorious in a shootout.

Prediction: Canucks 2, Wild 1 (SO)

Anaheim Ducks (38-32-6) @ Edmonton Oilers (36-31-9)
9:30 ET… TV: Local Networks

Players to watch:
ANA- Teemu Selanne
EDM- Ales Kotalik

Projected Goaltenders:
ANA- Jean-Sebastien Giguere
(08-09 stats: 19-18-5, 3.13 GAA)
EDM- Dwayne Roloson (08-09 stats: 27-21-9, 2.77 GAA)

Season Series: 2-1 Oilers

Game Thoughts:
Last week, Edmonton went to Anaheim and won 5-3. Tonight, I expect the Ducks to return the favor. The Oilers have been terribly inconsistent at home this year, and that may continue tonight. Go with the Ducks in OT…

Prediction: Ducks 4, Oilers 3 (OT)

Dallas Stars (33-33-10) @ Los Angeles Kings (31-33-11)
10:30 ET… TV: Local Networks

Players to watch:
DAL- Loui Eriksson
LA- Anze Kopitar

Projected Goaltenders:
DAL- Marty Turco
(08-09 stats: 32-30-9, 2.84 GAA)
LA- Jon Quick (08-09 stats: 18-15-2, 2.58 GAA)

Season Series: 4-1 Kings

Game Thoughts:
Los Angeles has had Dallas’ number this year, and will be playing at home finally. I like the Kings to dump the Stars tonight.

Prediction: Kings 3, Stars 2

About Chris Wassel

Simply I am a hockey writer who is a jack of all trades. Whether it is draft, fantasy, NHL, KHL, AHL, etc...I probably can write about it. The challenge in hockey is to be able to step out of your comfort zone and write like you are still there. Hopefully you enjoy the humor in the writing on the site and tell your friends. Thanks for reading!