Originally posted on Red Light District Hockey  |  Last updated 3/26/12
The Morning After:
Yesterday’s results:
Oilers 6, Blue Jackets 3
Capitals 3, Wild 0
Islanders 3, Panthers 2 (SO)
Penguins 5, Devils 2
Predators 6, Blackhawks 1
Bruins 3, Ducks 2
Blues 4, Coyotes 0

RLD 3 stars of the night:
1. Braden Holtby (28 saves, shutout)
2. Ryan Jones (1 goal, 2 assists)
3. Brian Elliott (20 saves, shutout)
---

Today’s slate:
Lightning @ Flyers, 7:30 ET
Blue Jackets @ Red Wings, 7:30
Senators @ Jets, 8:30
Stars @ Flames, 9:00
Kings @ Canucks, 10:00
Avalanche @ Sharks, 10:30

Game of the night:
Colorado Avalanche @ San Jose Sharks
10:30 ET… TV: Local Networks

Records:
Overall: Avalanche (40-31-6) … Sharks (38-27-10)
Away/Home: Avalanche (18-16-4) … Sharks (23-12-3)
Last 10: Avalanche (6-2-2) … Sharks (5-3-2)
Season Series: 2-1 Avalanche

Starting goaltenders:
COL- Semyon Varlamov (2011-12 stats: 25-21-3, 2.59 GAA)
SJS- Antti Niemi (2011-12 stats: 30-20-9, 2.46 GAA)

Injury report:
COL- Erik Johnson (back, questionable)
SJS- T.J. Galiardi (upper-body, out), James Sheppard (out)

Three things to watch:
1. For Avs, it's about discipline and composure
During their last game, a 3-2 loss to the Northwest Division leading Vancouver Canucks, the Avs let a 2-0 lead, and the win, escape them. After taking an early lead, a David Jones penalty caused a momentum swing in which Mason Raymond broke a streak of 20 consecutive penalties killed before Chris Higgins tied the contest minutes later. To win tonight, they need to play a more disciplined game by staying out of the box. Furthermore, they need to remain composed on the penalty kill and maintain one of their strengths over the last month.
2. For Sharks, it's a elevation of intensity
Looking at the other bubble teams and the Sharks and there is one big difference: intensity. The Sharks have already been labeled as disappointing, which is a branding that has spread throughout the entire team. Despite winning two in a row and four of their last six, this club knows that other teams want that final spot even more. In their most recent 4-3 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes, the Sharks scored four goals for the first time in 20 games. Let's see if they can duplicate that effort tonight.
3. On the bubble
Tonight's game should be thrilling simply because neither team can afford a loss. Tied with 86 points, the team who wins could find themselves temporarily back into the playoffs should the Kings lose to the Canucks. Expect a playoff feel to this heated battle.

Final thoughts: Hockey is a game of momentum, and right now the Sharks have it working in their favor. And while asking them to score four goals on rising starting goalie Semyon Varlamov may be a stretch, we should see their top guns come to life. Prediction: Sharks 3, Avalanche 2

The rest of today’s predictions:
Flyers over Lightning
Red Wings over Blue Jackets
Senators over Jets
Stars over Flames
Canucks over Kings
---

Video of the day:


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