PHT’s Morning Skate: Sean Avery is back and Daniel Carcillo’s a sniper

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

The fans at Madison Square Garden that have been chanting for Sean Avery will get their wish on Saturday night: Avery will be in the lineup against the Habs. (NY Daily News)

The Stars and Avalanche had a pretty wild night at the American Airlines Center last night. Observations from the always insightful Mike Heika. (Dallas Morning News)

Brian Elliott got the nod for last night’s game against the Canucks over Jaroslav Halak—a game he ended up winning. But if you ask head coach Davis Payne, there’s no goaltender controversy whatsoever in St. Louis. (Post-Dispatch)

Is Pens’ GM Ray Shero looking to make a trade to make room for all of the players that are about to come off of IR? Could Mark Letestu be available for a team that wants to add a young offensive forward? (Post-Gazette)

Just like the team as a whole, Henrik Zetterberg is off to a rough start this season. Unfortunately, everyone keeps reminding him. (The Detroit News)

Speaking of the Red Wings, what in the world is wrong with the perennial power from Motown? (Yahoo Sports)

Finding the right chemistry can be tricky for linemates. In Montreal, it looks like they may have things figured out in the short-term. (Canadiens Official)

The Oilers are off to an unbelievably (and unpredictably) good start this season. But this is NOT the start that defenseman Ryan Whitney envisioned when the season started. (QMI)

Boston head coach Claude Julien on Phil Kessel: “Phil’s matured. “When I say he’s matured, it’s as a person and I’m sure as a player…” He’ll get an upclose and personal look at Kessel when the Leafs and B’s faceoff again on Saturday night. (Boston Herald)

Finally, Daniel Carcillo shows that he’s capable of more than just stirring the pot and growing a creepy pornstache. He’s also a sniper. (NHL)

Video: Trisha Yearwood sings national anthem for Preds-Ducks

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Keith Urban sang the national anthem for Game 3. Kelly Clarkson did the honors for the Nashville Predators before Game 4. Next up: Trisha Yearwood for Game 6.

The Predators hope to close out the Anaheim Ducks on Monday, and they got off to a nice start with Austin Watson scoring a quick 1-0 goal. Not long after, the Predators added another to build to a 2-0 lead.

Garth Brooks spoiled Yearwood’s appearance a bit before the contest.

Brooks also revealed Yearwood’s early fan creds:

Nick Ritchie ejected after boarding, bloodying Viktor Arvidsson (Video)

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Anaheim Ducks forward Nick Ritchie scored a goal in Game 4, but he won’t be able to provide such a scoring boost for his team in Game 6.

That’s because he was ejected during the first period after hitting rising Nashville Predators star Viktor Arvidsson from behind, bloodying the slick Swede.

Ritchie was whistled for a game misconduct and major. Remarkably, the Ducks killed the entire five-minute power-play opportunity, with Ryan Kesler‘s shorthanded chance being one of the better opportunities for either team.

It’s still a big blunder, but if the Ducks can get back in it, remember that big kill.

Video of the hit is coming soon. For now, check out the GIF:

Oddly, Arvidsson left the ice with a wound that more or less spelled out “R,” presumably for Ritchie, maybe celebrating the return of “Twin Peaks.”

(Such an obvious move might not be surreal enough for David Lynch, though. Alex Prewitt’s Zorro reference might be more, um, on the mark.)

Video: Predators storm off to 2-0 lead, beguile Bernier early on

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It was already loud at Bridgestone Arena, but the Nashville Predators are making it a madhouse with a strong start against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 6.

First, it was Austin Watson, who sent a puck off a Ducks skate to score a 1-0 goal on Nashville’s first shot on Jonathan Bernier, who is starting instead of John Gibson. That came about 90 seconds into the game, really revving up the crowd.

Colton Sissons scored his first goal of the Western Conference Final – on his first shot on goal of the series – to make it 2-0. At that point, Bernier had allowed two goals on three shots on goal. Bernier’s made a few stops since then, but it’s a shaky start for a Ducks team facing elimination.

There’s some solace in that Anaheim’s often at its best in dire situations, though you have to wonder how many times they can bounce back from this?

No Mike Fisher or Craig Smith for Predators in Game 6

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The Anaheim Ducks won’t have John Gibson back, but the Nashville Predators are dealing with some injury-related letdowns, too.

Craig Smith skated before Game 6, but he opted not to play on Monday. Mike Fisher is also unable to go for the Predators as they aim to eliminate Anaheim.

The Ducks also won’t have Rickard Rakell back in the mix, so this physical Western Conference Final continues to feel like a battle of attrition.

Click here for the official roster report.

Game 5 is airing on NBCSN right now. You can watch online and via the NBC Sports App.

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