News: Ryan Getzlaf briefly left Wednesday's game against Montreal late in the third period after blocking a shot with his left foot. Analysis: He returned shortly thereafter, but keep an eye on Ryan Getzlaf's status in the next few days in case he'll be forced to miss any time. Getzlaf leads all NHL forwards with 81 blocked shots this season.
News: Rickard Rakell ended a 15-game goalless skid with a second-period tally in Wednesday's win over the Habs. Analysis: He's currently playing on the Ducks' third line with Emerson Etem and new acquisition Jiri Sekac. The trio were the bottom three Ducks in terms of ice time Wednesday night, so don't expect their scoring to greatly improve while their opportunities remain so limited.
News: Ryan Kesler recorded an assist on Cam Fowler's empty-netter Wednesday night against the Habs. Analysis: Ryan Kesler now has points in three of his last four games, so it looks like he's worked himself out of the slump that plagued him for much of February. It's probably time to start rolling him back into your lineup.
News: John Gibson stopped 37 of 38 shots Wednesday night in a 3-1 win over Montreal. Analysis: John Gibson's stellar play of late is a nice luxury for the Ducks. He's managed to win six of his past seven starts -- pretty successful for a backup goalie. If Gibson can continue delivering strong performances in net, expect him to see a number of starts down the stretch, as the Ducks are likely inclined to keep No. 1 goalie Frederik Andersen fresh for their playoff run.
News: Jake McCabe suffered an upper-body injury in his last game with AHL Rochester and will be reevaluated Thursday, Rob Sanderson of FOX Sports 1280 reports. Analysis: Jake McCabe reportedly hit his head on the ice during Wednesday's game, with Rochester coach Chadd Cassidy indicating the injury is "pretty serious." With Mark Pysyk off the ice after requiring hospitalization last weekend upon collapsing during a pickup basketball game, McCabe seemed to be the next defenseman in line for a promotion to the Sabres, but his injury might spell an end to those hopes.
News: Phil Varone, the Sabres' new No. 1 center, wants to show the team what he can do, reports the Olean Times Herald. Analysis: Phil Varone skated on the Sabres' top line in a 3-0 shutout loss against the Lightning and will remain as the team's No. 1 center for the foreseeable future. Varone was leading AHL Rochester in scoring when he was called up and centered a line with Matt Moulson and Tyler Ennis on the wings. The trio could provide some magic offensively with Varone and Ennis complimenting each other as skill players with Moulson serving as the shooter. The Sabres called up Mikhail Grigorenko on Thursday and will serve as the No. 2 center. Grigorenko and Varone will be tasked to carry the Sabres offense until the end of the season. Varone has two goals in 10 games this season.
News: Mark Pysyk is still undergoing tests after he collapsed while playing basketball with teammates last Saturday, Rob Sanderson of FOX Sports 1280 reports. Analysis: Mark Pysyk seems to be progressing well in his recovery, but doctors have yet to determine the cause of the episode. Until doctors are able to glean more information in his evaluations, Pysyk will continue to be held out of practices.
News: Zac Dalpe (personal) is questionable to play Friday against the Senators, Bill Hoppe of the Olean Times Herald reports. Analysis: Zac Dalpe wasn't present at Thursday's practice, as he left the team to attend to a family matter. He's expected to return to the Sabres in the near future, but it remains unclear if he'll be able to resolve the personal situation before Friday's match. Tim Schaller was moved to the fourth line to Dalpe's spot while Johan Larsson and Mikhail Grigorenko will center the third and second lines, respectively.
News: Coach Jack Capuano said Casey Cizikas (lower body) will return to the lineup Thursday against the Predators, Arthur Staple of Newsday reports. Analysis: Though Casey Cizikas still remains listed on the Isles' injured reserve list, the team is expected to open up a roster spot for him at some point in the afternoon by either assigning a forward to the minors or placing another active player on IR. The fourth-line center, who has six goals and 14 points in 53 games this season, hasn't suited up since the Feb. 16 tilt with the Rangers.
News: Eric Boulton (lower body) is on track to play Thursday against the Predators, Arthur Staple of Newsday reports. Analysis: After completing the Isles' morning skate with no complications, Eric Boulton is set to join the lineup for the first time since Jan. 17. He's still being listed on injured reserve for the moment, but expect the team to rectify that at some point in the afternoon. Boulton, who has appeared in just four games this season while serving primarily as a healthy scratch, is expected to replace the suspended Matt Martin on the Isles' fourth line.