My 3 stars of the night: 1. Johan Franzen, DET (5 Goals)… Franzen became the first NHLer since 2007 to net five goals in a game. 2. Brent Johnson, PIT (20 Saves, TKO) 3. Ryan Smyth, LA (2 Goals) Close but no cigar: R. Kesler and R. Luongo, VAN; R. Clowe, SJ; M. Michalek, OTT
Games of the Night: Dallas Stars @ Boston Bruins
7:00 ET… TV: Local Networks Records: Overall: Stars (30-16-5) … Bruins (29-15-7) Last Ten: Stars (6-3-1) … Bruins (7-3-0) Away/Home: Stars (14-9-1) … Bruins (13-9-3) Season Series (09/10): 1-0 Bruins
Players to watch: DAL- Mike Ribeiro
Ribeiro quietly has 17 points in his last 14 games. BOS- Patrice Bergeron
Since Dec. 16, Bergeron has 26 points and a +15 rating.
Injury Report: DAL- Mark Fistric (illness, questionable), Jamie Benn and Tom Wandell (shoulder, out), Toby Petersen (lower body, out) BOS- Marc Savard (concussion, out)
To respective extents, both the Stars and Bruins are surprising division leaders here in early February. Dallas will be going with Raycroft between the pipes, who is much better at home this year than on the road. The B’s have won five of seven and are playing some of their best hockey. These inter-conference games are so hard to get a feel for. Since they are at home, I'll go with Boston… Prediction: Bruins 3, Stars 2
--- Nashville Predators @ Philadelphia Flyers
7:00 ET… TV: Local Networks
Records: Overall: Predators (27-17-7) … Flyers (33-13-5) Last Ten: Predators (5-4-1) … Flyers (7-3-0) Away/Home: Predators (16-13-1) … Flyers (16-7-2) Season Series (09/10): 1-0 Predators
Players to watch: NSH- David Legwand
The Preds need a strong two-way effort from ‘Leggy’ against high-powered Philly. PHI- Scott Hartnell
Look for the former Predator to be active tonight.
Projected Goaltenders: NSH- Anders Lindback (2010/11 stats: 10-4-2, 2.58 GAA) PHI- Sergei Bobrovsky (2010/11 stats: 21-7-3, 2.49 GAA)
Injury Report: NSH- Steve Sullivan (lower body, out), Francis Bouillon and Matthew Lombardi (concussion, out), Cal O’Reilly (leg, out), Marek Svatos (knee, out) PHI- Jody Shelley (illness, questionable), Ian Laperriere (head, out)
Another East-West game is highlighted tonight, as two hard-working teams faceoff in Philadelphia. The Predators will be looking to get back on track as they have lost three in a row, while the Flyers are trying to fend off the hard-charging Penguins and Lightning for the conference lead. I expect this to be a good game with Peter Laviolette’s gang getting the two points. Prediction: Flyers 4, Predators 2
The rest of tonight’s predictions:
Hurricanes over Maple Leafs
Rangers over Devils
Flames over Thrashers
Wild over Avalanche
--- Morning Links: - Denver Post… There are now some doubts about a return of Peter Forsberg. - Toronto Sun… Is Tomas Kaberle willing to waive his no-trade clause? - SI… Where is the love for the Heritage Classic? - Bleeding All Blue… Did Brandon Prust dive on Jordan Staal’s punch?
--- Video of the Day:
Our podcast 'RLD Hockey Talk' is LIVE every Wednesday afternoon at 1:00 ET/Noon CT. Some of our notable guests in past episodes have been Dustin Brown, Doc Emrick, John Buccigross, Dave Strader, E.J. Hradek, Elliotte Friedman and Jay Grossman.