News: Craig Smith potted his second and third goals of the year in Wedneday's 4-1 win over the Oilers. He also fired five shots on net and skated to a plus-1. Analysis: Craig Smith is enjoying time on a surprisingly capable second line with Derek Roy and Matt Cullen, who tallied an assist each on Smith's goals. The fourth-year NHLer quietly racked up 24 goals and 28 assists while firing 216 shots on goal last season, and he seems primed to best those numbers with the first line of James Neal, Mike Ribeiro and Filip Forsberg taking some of the heat off him.
News: Ben Scrivens' four-game win streak came to an end Wednesday in a 4-1 loss to the visiting Predators. He stopped 31 of 35 shots. Analysis: Tough luck for Ben Scrivens, who ran into a surprisingly potent Nashville offense in this one. He was bound to take a step back at some point after rattling off four straight wins at home, but he definitely flashed his upside and will give prospective fantasy owners something to think about should they need a goaltender. Despite the run of victories that saw him stop 102 of 110 shots for a save percentage of .927, Scrivens' mark on the year still sits below the coveted .900 mark (.896) to go with a 3.01 GAA, so he's still far from an elite option on an inconsistent Oilers team.
News: Pekka Rinne narrowly missed a shutout Wednesday, stopping 26 of 27 shots in a 4-1 road win over the Oilers. The victory ended a four-game win streak for Edmonton. Analysis: The home team finally got to the big Finnish netminder near the midway mark of the third, denying Pekka Rinne of his second shutout of the season. He's now a marvelous 6-1-1 on a surprisingly successful Predators squad, and with his 1.71 GAA and .936 save percentage, he appears to be regaining his elite status in net.
News: Shea Weber blasted his fourth goal of the season in Wednesday's road win over the Oilers. Analysis: Perennially one of a very select few rearguards to challenge for 20-plus goals, Shea Weber should get every chance to exceed his career high of 23 on an improved Predators squad this season.
News: Marian Gaborik (undisclosed) took part in the Kings' practice Wednesday but seems unlikely to play Thursday, the LA Kings Insider reports. Analysis: Marian Gaborik figures to need at least one more practice session before rejoining the Kings as he's been sidelined since October 12.
News: Coach Ken Hitchcock said Paul Stastny (upper body) is not being ruled out for Thursday's game against the Ducks, NHL.com's Lou Korac reports. Analysis: Paul Stastny was on the ice at Wednesday's optional session for a third straight day, but it doesn't sound like he's resumed taking much contact, making it more likely than not that he sits out Thursday. Still, the feeling from the Blues is that Stastny is making progress and is close to a return. Keep stashing him on your bench until he's given the green light to return.
News: Calle Jarnkrok has been ruled out of Wednesday's game against the Oilers due to an upper-body injury, Eric Stromgren of The Tennessean reports. Analysis: Calle Jarnkrok still managed to skate with the Predators at their morning session, so it doesn't sound like a long-term absence is in the picture. The young center may have to worry about a possible demotion to the AHL, however, after failing to provide a point in the Preds' first eight games.
News: Jake Allen will be in net for the Blues on Thursday against the Ducks, Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Analysis: Jake Allen has been a decent backup for Brian Elliott so far this season, appearing in two games and posting a 1-1-0 record and a .915 save percentage. The Blues may just be giving Elliott a day off, so expect Allen to continue to be the backup for at least the near future.
News: Jacob Trouba tallied his first point of the season -- a second-period goal -- in Tuesday's win over the Islanders. Analysis: Big things were expected from Jacob Trouba heading into the campaign after he compiled 29 points in 65 games for the Jets as a 19-year-old, but he's been a disappointment to date. The lack of production hasn't been a huge drain to his plus/minus rating, but he'll need to begin showing more involvement offensively in order to justify a roster spot in shallower leagues.
News: Jaroslav Halak surrendered four goals on 30 shots in Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Jets. Analysis: Benched the previous two games in favor of backup Chad Johnson, Jaroslav Halak didn't give the Islanders any encouraging returns upon reentering the lineup. Fortunately for Halak, Johnson performed rather unevenly in his two turns, which will likely result in no change atop the team's goalie depth chart. However, with a 3.51 GAA, .889 save percentage and three straight losses on Halak's ledger, the glow of his 3-0 start is beginning to dim.