News: Jake Dowell has been assigned to AHL Iowa. Analysis: Jake Dowell, who will return to Iowa with 17 points in 54 AHL games to date, remains a candidate for recall if the Wild require added depth up front as the playoffs progress.
News: Brenden Dillon (lower body) wasn't on the ice for morning skate Wednesday and looks like a game-time decision for Game 1 against the Ducks, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports. Analysis: Brenden Dillon was considered likely to play in Game 1 as recently as two days ago, but his inability to participate in practice since that time now has him looking questionable at best. The uncertainty of his injury situation probably makes him a defenseman to avoid in playoff pools.
News: Kari Lehtonen will be in the crease for Game 1 of the Stars' first-round series with the Ducks, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports. Analysis: Frankly, it would be more surprising if Kari Lehtonen didn't make the start for every game throughout the playoffs than if he did. The Stars will lean heavily on their netminder as they return to the playoffs for the first time in five seasons.
News: Brandon Sutter scored a game-winning goal against Columbus on Wednesday. Analysis: Suter played well, centering a line with Lee Stempniak and Beau Bennett for much of the night. He was taken down on a breakaway, but no penalty or penalty shot was awarded. Pittsburgh is looking for contributions outside of its top two lines and Brandon Sutter came through in the clutch.
News: Ondrej Palat appeared to suffer a knee injury after taking a knee-on-knee hit in the second period of Wednesday's game, according to in-game announcers on CBC. Analysis: He came out to start the third, but immediately retreated to the dressing room. CBC then found footage of a knee-on-knee hit that may have done some real damage.
News: Jussi Jokinen scored his first goal of the playoffs Wednesday against the Blue Jackets. Analysis: Columbus seems to be targeting the forward, physically, in an effort to slow him down. Jussi Jokinen, who has three goals and 11 points in 20 games against the Blue Jackets, finished the regular season with goals in three straight games and carried over his hot play in Game 1.
News: Brian Gibbons played well Wednesday and was promoted to Sidney Crosby's line with Chris Kunitz midway through Game 1. Analysis: He failed to collect a point, but his speed set up a number of scoring opportunities. Brian Gibbons hit the post on one such chance. The winger isn't a great scorer, but his performance Wednesday could earn him more time alongside Crosby in Game 2.
News: Kris Letang had a disappointing playoff start Wednesday, compiling a minus-2 rating while committing a pair of ill-advised minor penalties. Analysis: His giveaway on the power play led to a Columbus short-handed goal. By the end of the game, Pittsburgh replaced Kris Letang on the team's No. 1 power-play unit with Paul Martin and/or Matt Niskanen. Consistency has been Letang's bugaboo and it bit him Wednesday night.
News: Steven Stamkos potted two goals in Wednesday's 5-4 OT loss to the Canadiens. Analysis: The Bolts' captain showed his scoring touch twice Wednesday, but it wasn't quite enough as Tampa Bay dropped Game 1 in overtime. Steven Stamkos racked up 25 goals and 15 assists in 37 regular season games, and should be an offensive force now that he's healthy.
News: Anders Lindback allowed five goals on 44 shots in Wednesday's 5-4 OT loss to the Canadiens. Analysis: Anders Lindback wasn't great Wednesday, but it didn't help that his defense allowed 44 shots on goal. If starter Ben Bishop (elbow) can get healthy for Friday's Game 2, Lindback will reassume the backup role.