News: Nathan MacKinnon dished out a pair of helpers in Friday's win over Nashville. Analysis: The two points snapped a three-game scoring drought for Nathan MacKinnon, who now has nine goals and 29 points in 50 games. While he's been held off the scoresheet in seven of his last nine games, the Avs are playing good hockey right now, picking up at least one point in six of their last seven games. MacKinnon's only 19, so we wouldn't give up on him just yet this season. His whopping 152 shots on goal indicate more goals are on the way. Patience is a virtue.
News: Mike Ribeiro took a break from scoring Friday, racking up 22 PIM in a loss to Colorado. Analysis: While Mike Ribeiro has 43 points (33 assists) in 48 games this season, he is also now among the league's top-100 PIM leaders. Producing at basically a point-per-game pace and sporting a steady plus-15 rating, Ribeiro is worth owning in most formats.
News: Marek Mazanec gave up two goals on 27 shots in Friday's loss to Colorado. Analysis: It was a good effort from Marek Mazanec, who got no offensive support in the shutout loss. It was the first start of the season for the 23-year-old, who had been giving way to Carter Hutton in Pekka Rinne's (knee) absence. Considering Hutton has given up seven goals in his last two starts, Mazanec could be worth a temporary pick-up until Rinne returns.
News: Semyon Varlamov stopped all 23 shots he faced in Friday's shutout win over Nashville. Analysis: A perfect outing for the workhorse, who has started 14 of the Avs' past 15 games. Semyon Varlamov is now 13-10-7 on the season with a .922 save percentage and 2.62 GAA. He's delivered some consistency play of late, allowing more than three goals just once in his last 10 appearances. Considering he's starting almost every game for an Avs team that has picked up at least one point in six of their last seven games, Varlamov is a great own in almost all formats.
News: Brian Gionta's interference penalty led to the Canucks scoring the game-winning goal in Friday's 5-2 loss. Analysis: Brian Gionta took an ill-advised interference penalty against Dan Hamhuis while chasing the puck, and the ensuing power play saw Yannick Weber score the eventual game-winning goal. The Sabres captain didn't have a particularly strong game coming off a two-point effort against Edmonton. Gionta put it on himself after the game and if the Sabres want to snap out of the funk Gionta's not doing them any favors at the moment. He has 13 points in 37 games this year.
News: Ben Bishop is expected to draw the starting nod for Saturday's game against the Blue Jackets, NHL.com's Bryan Burns reports. Analysis: Backup Evgeni Nabokov was the lone goalie on the ice for Saturday's optional skate, signaling that Ben Bishop will earn his seventh straight start. He won for the fourth time in five starts his last time out Thursday against the Red Wings, turning in a sharp, 27-save outing while conceding a lone goal.
News: Shawn Matthias registered an assist in Friday's 5-2 win over the Sabres. Analysis: Shawn Matthias isn't known for his scoring prowess, however, he's having one of his better seasons in that respect, as he's currently on pace to best his career high point total of 24. While the increase in scoring production is nice for Matthias, the 26-year-old center's output is far too erratic for most fantasy owners to trust.
News: Andre Burakovsky will be a healthy scratch for Saturday's game against the Canadiens, Alex Prewitt of the Washington Post reports. Analysis: Though Andre Burakovsky resumed practicing with the top line Friday, he'll be sent to the press box for the second straight game. Burakovsky doesn't have much value if he's not seeing consistent ice time alongside Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, and since a top-line appointment no longer appears to be a given for him, it might be time to cut ties with the rookie in certain formats. Instead, it looks like Jay Beagle will be the latest Capitals forward to keep an eye on while he rides shotgun next to the team's two stars.
News: Nikita Zadorov contributed a power-play assist in his return to the lineup Friday against the Canucks. Analysis: Nikita Zadorov had served as a healthy scratch the previous two games after failing to report to the Sabres in a timely fashion following the All-Star break. It appears all has been forgiven at this point, which should make Zadorov a lineup mainstay in the subsequent contests to come. The young blueliner has two goals, seven assists, and a minus-13 rating over 35 games this season.
News: Roberto Luongo is lined up to start Saturday's game against the Devils, Harvey Fialkov of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. Analysis: Fresh off a sharp outing Thursday against the Blue Jackets in which he concluded a five-game losing streak, Roberto Luongo looks like a steady option for Saturday's match. The Devils rank 28th in the NHL in scoring, and are presumably a bit fatigued after Friday's overtime loss to the Penguins. Moreover, backup Keith Kinkaid will be in the net for the opposition rather than the sizzling Cory Schneider, which figures to aid Luongo's chances of capturing the victory on the road.