PHT Morning Skate: Allen coming up clutch; Who plays with McDavid, Nugent-Hopkins?

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Welcome to the PHT Morning Skate, a collection of links from around the hockey world. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at phtblog@nbcsports.com.

• Sabres top prospect Casey Mittelstadt looked back at his college experience at the University of Minnesota after he signed his entry-level contract with Buffalo this week. (The Gopher Hockey Blog)

Jake Allen has had his share of ups and downs this season, but he’s really come through for his team during this crucial stretch. (Fan Rag Sports)

• Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo wrote a great letter about how hockey is an escape for all the tragedies he’s experienced in his life. (The Players’ Tribune)

• Former NHL defenseman Andrew Ference believes it’s time for hockey to be more inclusive, which means that players can’t just stay in their own little bubble. They have to participate in different programs that show off their personality so that they might develop a connection with new fans. (ESPN)

• Cristobal Huet and Christian Ehrhoff both decided to call it quits over the last couple of days. Both had plenty of success in the NHL. (IIHF)

• Now that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is playing on Connor McDavid‘s left wing, Oilers Nation examines which player could be the best fit on the right side of that trio. (Oilers Nation)

• How useful is Roman Polak in the playoffs? Faceoffcircle.ca takes a deeper look at the numbers. (Faceoffcircle.ca)

Shea Weber won’t return this season, but the foot injury that was expected to sideline him for six months will only take four months to heal. (Sportsnet)

Nico Hischier still has plenty of things to work on, but his rookie season has been a success in New Jersey. (All About the Jersey)

• The Preds have lost three games in a row, but that’s no reason for their fans to be concerned. After all, they’re still right at the top of the league standings. (On the Forecheck)

• Ottawa and Carolina went head-to-head last night, so TSN’s Travis Yost looked at a problem they both had in common this season. (TSN.ca)

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.

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