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Game Predictions 3/6/2008

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Toronto vs. Boston – Boston has been one of the most steady teams in the Eastern Conference this season, which makes their last two games rather strange.  After earning second star of the week from the NHL last week, Tim Thomas posted a GAA of 11.51 versus the Washington Capitals on Monday night.  Alex Auld put up a great effort on Tuesday against Florida, but Boston couldn’t find the scoring touch.  And with Toronto’s fortunes moving in the exact opposite direction, tonight could prove a key game for both squads.  – BRUINS

NY Rangers vs. NY Islanders – RANGERS 

Tampa Bay vs. Philadelphia – Injuries for the Flyers, new faces for the Lightning.  For the Flyers, this game will be about stepping up.  The Upshall-Carter-Knuble line must continue with their dominant performances, and the Umberger-Prospal-Hartnell line needs to supply additional points.  As for the Lightning – Lecavalier and St. Louis haven’t been scoring, and this team can’t win if their only true offensive line can’t function.  – FLYERS

Minnesota vs. Carolina – Staal’s on a hot streak, helping his team keep ahead of the surging Capitals.  But Minnesota is excellent on the road and will take sole possession of first spot in their division with a win tonight.  – WILD 

Pittsburgh vs. Florida – Crosby’s back for Pittsburgh.  Still no Chad Kilger for the Panthers.  – PENGUINS

Anaheim vs. Colorado – All the ducks are in a row, and the avalanche is finally ready to explode.  Yes, Selanne and Niedermeyer have been at the helm for a while now; Peter Forsberg returned over the weekend.  The biggest question facing the Avalanche is health – Ryan Smyth suffered a concussion as a result of a fluke ending to a good hit and Marek Svatos is gone for the season.  Can Forsberg overcome his physical tendencies and stay in the lineup?  – DUCKS

Montreal vs. Phoenix – This should be a great game to watch – two teams with youth and speed.  A secondary point to consider: how will Carey Price respond to his soft performance in San Jose?  It’s not easy to pull out the show-stopping, legendary performances of Ken Dryden or Patrick Roy.  But Price seems to have maturity beyond his years and a strong ability to compete despite his mistakes.  He’ll need every ounce of that.  Lightning rarely strikes twice, let alone three times.  – CANADIENS

Nashville vs. Vancouver – PREDATORS

Ottawa vs. Los Angeles – The scoreboard in San Jose says nothing about the current state of the Ottawa Senators.  Yes, they took the Sharks into overtime.  And yes, Martin Gerber made some outstanding saves.  But the bigger problem is this: Ottawa had the lead twice in the game, and twice they failed to squeeze out the opponent.  Good teams take momentum and run.  Great teams make their own momentum.  The Senators are clinging to the edge by their fingernails.  – KINGS

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