News: Nikita Nikitin (upper body) is doubtful for Saturday's game against the Predators but may be able to return for Monday's game against the Stars. Analysis: Nikita Nikitin sustained an upper-body injury during Thursday's game and was not able to return to that contest. He traveled with the Blue Jackets to Nashville and is considered day-to-day.
News: Antti Niemi is expected to start Saturday's game against the Canadiens, David Pollak of the Mercury News reports. Analysis: Antti Niemi has struggled lately, posting an .887 save percentage over his last five games. While it's something to keep in mind, the Finnish netminder has a long history of success and figures to get back on track sooner rather than later.
News: Jaroslav Halak will start Saturday's game against the Coyotes, CSN Washington's Rob Carlin reports. Analysis: As expected, Jaroslav Halak will make his Caps debut against the Coyotes, in a matchup between two teams grinding for wild-card spots in their respective conferences. The Slovak netminder posted a 24-9-4 record, 2.23 GAA and .917 save percentage in 40 games (38 starts) behind the stout St. Louis defense this season. He'll have a tough time maintaining those numbers behind a shaky Washington blue line that has struggled on the PK all season. It's still unclear how the playing time will be divided between Halak and Braden Holtby, but a timeshare would make sense.
News: Mats Zuccarello, who had missed the last four games due to a hand injury, returned to the lineup Friday and recorded one assist and three shots on goal over 18:19 of ice time. Analysis: Mats Zuccarello suffered the injury while playing for Norway at the Sochi Olympics, but was insistent that it wouldn't keep him out for long. Coach Alain Vigneault said that Zuccarello "didn't miss a beat" and played a strong game, so it looks like he's safe to get back into your lineups.
News: Brad Richards (finger) will have x-rays taken to determine the severity of his injury, Andrew Gross of the Bergen Record reports. Analysis: Brad Richards took a slash on the left hand from Eric Staal, but the injury wasn't enough to keep him from staying in the game. He did record one assist, but that was before the incident. Gross cites that Richards will be sore but that it shouldn't affect his ability to play. Still consider him day-to-day for now though until test results come back.
News: Anders Nilsson will start Friday's game against the Calgary Flames. Analysis: With Evgeni Nabokov getting the start Thursday, Anders Nilsson always figured to handle the second game of the Isles' back-to-back. The Swedish goaltender played well in his last start but owns ugly numbers -- 2-3-2, 3.44 GAA, .888 save percentage -- for the season.
News: Robert Bortuzzo is day-to-day with an upper-body injury and will not play in Friday's game against the Ducks. Analysis: A healthy scratch for much of the season, Robert Bortuzzo has seen more regular playing time lately as a result of injuries to other players. His absence Friday will likely free up a spot for Deryk Engelland on the Pens' third defensive pairing.
News: Marc-Andre Fleury is expected to start Friday's game against the Ducks, NHL.com reports. Analysis: Jeff Zatkoff got the nod in the first game of the Penguins' back-to-back on Thursday, leaving Marc-Andre Fleury as the probable starter for Friday. The Quebecois netminder has been shaky since the Olympic break, but it's hard to sit him given how frequently he wins.
News: Semyon Varlamov will start Saturday's game against the Blues, the Denver Post reports. Analysis: Semyon Varlamov is having a fine year and has played well recently, but the Avalanche have struggled against the Blues this season, getting outscored 11-4 in a pair of losses.
News: Nicklas Jensen was recalled from AHL Utica by the Canucks on Friday. Analysis: Nicklas Jensen, the 29th overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, has 21 goals and seven assists in 77 career AHL games. The Canucks were hoping he'd have an impact at the NHL level this season, but that hasn't exactly panned out, with Jensen spending the entire season in Utica before Friday. Once Zack Kassian returns from a three-game suspension next Friday, Jensen may be sent back to Utica.