News: John Mitchell (leg) will return to the lineup Saturday against the Stars, Adrian Dater of the Denver Post reports. Analysis: John Mitchell was a full participant in Friday's practice and was given clearance to return following a three-game absence. The forward has three goals and five points in 16 games this season.
News: Brandon Gormley (lower body) still isn't practicing, Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic reports. Analysis: Brandon Gormley was only expected to miss about a week after he was placed on injured reserve Nov. 18, but the Coyotes have since downgraded his condition to "week-to-week." He won't have a more definitive return date until he resumes skating.
News: Jay Bouwmeester (lower body) has been ruled out for the Blues' games Friday and Saturday, NHL.com's Lou Korac reports. Analysis: It was believed that Jay Bouwmeester hadn't been on the ice since suffering the lower-body injury last weekend, but he's actually skated on his own the past two days. Even so, he's not yet ready to face the rigors of a full game. He'll look to resume practicing Monday with the hope of receiving clearance to play next Wednesday against the Blackhawks.
News: Jonas Brodin (illness) said he would play Saturday against the Stars after taking part in the team's morning skate, Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Analysis: The Wild will activate Jonas Brodin from IR after he missed the previous seven games while dealing with the mumps virus. The defenseman needed more than a week to recover from the illness, which resulted in severe fever and exhaustion. He's been skating since Wednesday and appears to be back at full strength, which should enable him to reclaim a top-four role on defense immediately upon returning.
News: Corey Crawford will be in the net Friday against the Ducks, Judd Sirott of 720 WGN Radio reports. Analysis: The Blackhawks will face off against two Western Conference heavyweights in the Ducks and Kings on back-to-back days over the weekend, so it will be interesting to see if coach Joel Quenneville turns to Corey Crawford for both of these pivotal games. He'll at least have little reason to shy away from giving Friday's start to Crawford, who could be on the cusp of the best season of his career. He's won four of his last five starts and owns a 1.98 GAA and .926 save percentage over 16 appearances.
News: Mark Borowiecki will miss Friday's game against the Panthers due to an unspecified injury, Gord Wilson of TSN 1200 Ottawa reports. Analysis: The Senators will swap out one injured defenseman for another, as the now-healthy Chris Phillips will rejoin the lineup while Mark Borowiecki sits. It's not certain how Borowiecki obtained the injury, but he'll be considered day-to-day until the Senators shed further light on his condition.
News: Zack Kassian (finger) was moved to injured reserve Friday. Analysis: The winger was ruled out for the entirety of the Canucks' seven-game road trip that kicks off Friday, so by moving Zack Kassian to IR, the team will be able to open up a roster spot for an extra forward. Kassian is expected to miss two-to-three weeks due to the finger injury.
News: Nicklas Jensen was recalled from AHL Utica on Friday. Analysis: The Canucks will bring back Nicklas Jensen after Zack Kassian was ruled out for two-to-three weeks with a finger injury, landing on IR as a result. Jensen isn't likely to see much ice time during the Canucks' seven-game road trip, as he'll just represent an insurance option in the event one of the team's forwards gets injured.
News: Brandon Kozun (ankle) will appear in at least three games for AHL Toronto during his conditioning assignment, Jonas Siegel of TSN Radio 1050 reports. Analysis: Brandon Kozun's third game will come next Friday (Dec. 5), after which the Maple Leafs will evaluate his condition and determine if he's fit to rejoin the big club. The Leafs would be able to keep Kozun on the assignment for up to two weeks.
News: Clayton Stoner (illness) is expected to play Saturday against the Blackhawks, Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports. Analysis: When Clayton Stoner fell ill over the past weekend, the Ducks feared that he was the latest victim of the mumps virus that has wreaked havoc in the locker room all season. Instead, it seems like his illness was something less severe, as he practiced Thursday with seemingly no restrictions. He'll slot back in for Francois Beauchemin, who will miss Saturday's game with a suspected hand injury.