Originally posted on Red Light District Hockey  |  Last updated 3/24/12
The Morning After:
Yesterday’s results:
Maple Leafs 4, Devils 3 (SO)
Sabres 4, Rangers 1
Jets 4, Capitals 3 (OT)
Blue Jackets 5, Hurricanes 1
Canadiens 5, Senators 1
Oilers 2, Panthers 1 (SO)

RLD 3 stars of the night:
1. Erik Cole, MTL (3 goals)
2. R.J. Umberger, CBJ (3 goals)
3. Drew Stafford, BUF (2 goals, 1 assist)
---

Tonight’s slate:
Flames @ Stars, 2:00 ET
Wild @ Sabres, 7:00
Rangers @ Maple Leafs, 7:00
Penguins @ Senators, 7:00
Canadiens @ Flyers, 7:00
Islanders @ Lightning, 7:00
Hurricanes @ Red Wings, 7:00
Jets @ Predators, 7:00
Bruins @ Kings, 9:00
Canucks @ Avalanche, 10:00
Coyotes @ Sharks, 10:00

Game of the night:
Phoenix Coyotes @ San Jose Sharks
10:00 ET… TV: Local Networks

Records:
Overall: Coyotes (37-26-12) … Sharks (37-27-10)
Away/Home: Coyotes (18-14-6) … Sharks (22-12-3)
Last 10: Coyotes (4-3-3) … Sharks (4-3-3)
Season Series: 3-1 Coyotes

Starting goaltenders:
PHX- Mike Smith (2011-12 stats: 33-18-9, 2.36 GAA)
SJ- Antti Niemi (2011-12 stats: 29-20-9, 2.46 GAA)

Injury report:
PHX- Adrian Aucoin (lower body, questionable), Taylor Pyatt (upper body, questionable), Kyle Chipchura (wrist, out)
SJ- T.J. Galiardi (upper body, questionable)

Three things to watch:
1. Playoff implications
There is a lot riding on this game. San Jose, in 10th, could potentially jump up to 3rd tonight if everything goes their way. But they have to beat Phoenix, who is currently in 7th. The Sharks are two points back of and have a game in hand on the Coyotes. As we seem to always see at this time of year, don’t be surprised if this game goes to overtime and leaves the rest of the West’s bubble disgruntled.
2. Coyotes’ success vs. Sharks
This is the fifth meeting of the season between Phoenix and San Jose. Lately it’s been one-sided. After Team Teal took the first matchup, the Desert Dogs have won three straight by a combined score of 11-3; Mike Smith picked up two shutouts in those games. Can the Sharks return the favor tonight and stop the bleeding against Dave Tippett’s club?
3. Special teams battle
It’ll be interesting to see who wins the special teams battle. Both teams are seemingly even across the board. San Jose’s solid power play will face a good penalty kill, while their below-average penalty kill while face a bad power play. Special teams have a good chance of deciding this one.

Final thoughts: Expect a tightly-contested game between these two division foes. Both need a win, so neither will be willing to really open things up. Look for the Sharks to get a big ‘W’. Prediction: Sharks 3, Coyotes 2

The rest of today’s predictions:
Flames over Stars
Sabres over Wild
Rangers over Maple Leafs
Penguins over Senators
Flyers over Canadiens
Lightning over Islanders
Red Wings over Hurricanes
Predators over Jets
Kings over Bruins
Avalanche over Canucks
---

Video of the day:


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