News: Devan Dubnyk will receive the start in goal for Thursday's game against the Flames, Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Analysis: With Darcy Kuemper banished to the minors on a conditioning assignment, the Minnesota net should be Devan Dubnyk's for a while, as backup Niklas Backstrom simply isn't playing well enough to make a push for starts. Dubnyk has gone a respectable 3-1-0 with his new squad, compiling a 2.04 GAA and .911 save percentage.
News: Ben Scrivens will be in the net for Thursday's game against the Sabres. Analysis: Ben Scrivens has given way to Viktor Fasth over the last couple of outings, but he'll have a prime opportunity Thursday to reassert himself as interim coach Todd Nelson's top option in goal. The Sabres are the only team in the league averaging fewer than two goals per game this season, and have dropped 12 straight games in regulation, making the awful Oilers look relatively competent by comparison. Scrivens should be a playable option for those mining for a cheap win.
News: Taylor Hall (lower leg) will not play Thursday against the Sabres, Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News reports. Analysis: Taylor Hall, who is dealing with a bone bruise, hasn't resumed skating since taking a shot off his leg during Monday's practice. As a result, he'll be sidelined for his second straight contest, with no indication on when he may be able to take to the ice again. The Oilers seem to be considering him day-to-day for the time being, but if he fails to notice much progress in the coming days, team doctors could reassess his status.
News: Joe Vitale (upper body) will not play Thursday against the Maple Leafs, Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic reports. Analysis: Joe Vitale hasn't resumed skating since leaving Tuesday's game against the Flyers with the injury. The Coyotes are labeling him as day-to-day at this point, but he'll probably need to return to practice Friday in order to have a chance at playing in either of the team's weekend contests. AHL Portland call-up Brendan Shinnimin will replace him in the lineup for at least Thursday's match.
News: Carter Hutton will be in the crease for Thursday's game against the Blues, Kristopher Martel of FOX Sports reports. Analysis: The Predators will kick off a back-to-back set Thursday, so coach Peter Laviolette will save Carter Hutton for the tougher matchup while backup Marek Mazanec presumably gets the nod Friday in Colorado. While Hutton currently slots in as the Preds' top netminder with Pekka Rinne (knee) unavailable, he probably hasn't created much distance between himself and Mazanec. Over his four starts in place of Rinne, Hutton has gone 2-1-1, but posted a mediocre .876 save percentage.
News: Jeremy Morin, who was placed on IR on Wednesday with what was labeled an upper-body injury, required hospitalization Tuesday night due to an elevated heart rate, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports. Analysis: General manager Jarmo Kekalainen said he wasn't sure if Jeremy Morin would require ongoing testing for his heart, but the club decided it was in the 23-year-old's best interest to rule him out indefinitely. Morin will likely be reassessed by team doctors once he's released from the hospital, after which the Blue Jackets may choose to offer a firmer timetable for his return.
News: Ryan Murray (knee) will not play Thursday against the Panthers, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports. Analysis: Ryan Murray practiced fully with the Blue Jackets a day earlier and was cleared by doctors to travel with the team to South Florida, but it looks like the team will exercise some precaution and give him some additional recovery time. The blueliner has been progressing well lately after remaining in a long-term holding pattern with his recovery from the knee injury, so he could make his long-awaited return over the weekend in Tampa Bay for the final game of the road trip.
News: Kevin Connauton (illness) will play Thursday against the Panthers. Analysis: Kevin Connauton was absent from Wednesday's practice due to the illness, but the Blue Jackets were never seriously concerned that he'd be forced to sit out Thursday's game. He verified that he was healthy enough by taking part in the Jackets' morning skate, enabling him to reclaim his lineup spot on the second pairing next to James Wisniewski.
News: Artem Anisimov (triceps) was activated from injured reserve Thursday. Analysis: As anticipated, this confirms that Artem Anisimov will suit up for Thursday's game against the Panthers. The 26-year-old missed 23 games due to the torn triceps and had already sat out another seven earlier in the season with an upper-body injury, limiting his impact thus far for the Blue Jackets. He'll center the club's third line in his return to action.
News: Curtis McElhinney will be between the pipes for Thursday's game against the Panthers. Analysis: Curtis McElhinney didn't perform particularly well in his first outing following Sergei Bobrovsky's placement on IR due to a groin injury, stopping just 25 of 28 shots in Tuesday's win over the Capitals. While the win was nice, fantasy owners shouldn't count on stellar numbers from McElhinney during his run as the Jackets' primary netminder. He fared poorly when Bobrovsky missed most of December due to a groin issue, and owns a meager 2.98 GAA and .906 save percentage over 16 outings on the season.