News: Evgeni Malkin (lower body) will not travel with the team for Saturday's game in Boston, Seth Rorabaugh of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Analysis: Coach Dan Bylsma said the star forward is still day-to-day with the injury, as the team hopes the weekend off will allow him to be ready to go in time for next week's slate of games. The Penguins are dealing with numerous injuries to their forward ranks at the moment, with Evgeni Malkin's absence being chief among them. He had compiled 19 points over his previous nine games before suffering the injury.
News: Pierre-Cedric Labrie (upper body) was skating in a normal jersey during Friday's practice, Eric Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune reports. Analysis: The Lightning received a dose of good news for their battered defenseman corps, as injured blueliners Pierre-Cedric Labrie, Radko Gudas and Eric Brewer all skated in full and appear close to a return. Labrie's official status for Saturday's game has yet to be determined, but if he doesn't draw back into the lineup, expect one of the other injured defensemen to do so.
News: Eric Brewer (lower body) wore a full-contact jersey during Friday's practice, Eric Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune reports. Analysis: The Lightning haven't officially said so, but Eric Brewer's full availability Friday should allow him to get back in the lineup Saturday against the Jets. His return would certainly be welcome for a Bolts' defenseman corps that's already down three other members.
News: Michal Handzus (illness) was on the ice Friday for the team's morning skate, Brian Hedger of NHL.com reports. Analysis: Coach Joel Quenneville hasn't indicated whether or not Michal Handzus will suit up Friday against the Ducks, but his participation during the morning session certainly looks promising. We'll know officially during pregame warmups if Handzus will draw back into the lineup.
News: Joffrey Lupul (groin) was a full participant at Friday's practice, Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun reports. Analysis: It marked Lupu's first full session with the team since landing on injured reserve Nov. 28. The Leafs haven't passed along word yet on whether or not he'll be activated for the team's two weekend contests, but a determination should be made on that front following Saturday's morning skate.
News: Phil Kessel (undisclosed) missed Friday's practice, Jonas Siegel of TSN Radio 1050 reports. Analysis: Phil Kessel is evidently still feeling whatever ailment he is dealing with, so the Leafs will give him as much maintenance as he needs to ensure his availability for games. He extended his scoring streak to five games by providing two assists in Thursday's game while playing through the injury.
News: Marian Hossa scored his 12th goal on Thursday night in the loss to the Wild as he tied Jonathan Toews for second on the Blackhawks in goals. Analysis: Only Patrick Kane is ahead of Marian Hossa and Toews in goals. The disappointment for Hossa is his assists with only nine in 25 games. It was only two years ago, 2011-12, where he had 48 assists in 81 games.
News: Brandon Saad ended his six-game goal-less drought with an unassisted goal on Thursday night in the 4-3 loss to the Wild. Analysis: Brandon Saad last scored on November 21 against the Jets, but he might be in line to score against Anaheim on Friday. The goal against the Jets was the second of back-to-back games where he scored. He has eight goals and 11 assists on the season and will surely pass his numbers in last season's lockout-shortened 2012-13 season (10 goals and 17 assists).
News: Coach Craig Berube ruled Vincent Lecavalier (back) out for Saturday's game against the Stars, Tim Panaccio of CSN Philadelphia reports. Analysis: Vincent Lecavalier's back still hasn't fully recovered after he received treatment earlier this week, so the team will wait and see how he feels after getting the weekend off. He'll be missing his third straight game with the injury.
News: Evander Kane (lower body) was a participant in Friday's practice, Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun reports. Analysis: It's Evander Kane's first time back on ice since last Friday, with the forward sitting out two games during that time. Assuming he made it through Friday's session fine, he could be an option Saturday against the Lightning if he turns in a successful morning skate.