News: Chris Kunitz was given practice off Thursday, Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Analysis: Chris Kunitz hit his leg on the Capitals' goalpost in Tuesday's victory, but managed to stay in the game despite probably playing with some limitations. Although coach Dan Bylsma characterized Kunitz's absence from practice as a maintenance day, there's still a slight chance he could be scratched Saturday vs. the Flyers if any pain continues to linger. Fantasy owners may want to keep an eye on him the next two days just to be safe.
News: Coach Patrick Roy said he'd be "very surprised" if Paul Stastny (back) played Friday vs. the Ducks, Adrian Dater of the Denver Post reports. Analysis: Paul Stastny has already missed the previous two games with back spasms and doesn't appeared to have made much progress in his recovery in spite of the time off. Fantasy owners should stash him on their bench until more optimism surfaces about a potential return.
News: Chad Johnson is expected to receive the start in goal Thursday vs. the Coyotes, Mike Loftus of the Patriot Ledger reports. Analysis: After Tuukka Rask got the start a night earlier for the Bruins, look for Claude Julien to give the net to Chad Johnson on Thursday, as he faces off against his former team. Johnson has gathered wins in seven of his last eight starts, including two victories earlier this month over the Panthers.
News: Peter Holland (illness) was absent from Thursday's morning skate, Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun reports. Analysis: Unless Peter Holland is able to rally in the afternoon, it seems likely that he'll be out of the lineup Thursday vs. the Kings. With rosters expanding following the trade deadline, coach Randy Carlyle probably won't hesitate to give Holland the night off if he's at less than 100 percent.
News: Ben Bishop made 23 saves in a 5-4 win over Florida on Thursday night. Analysis: We like the win; we don't like the goals allowed. Ben Bishop has been scuffling this month -- he's just 2-2-2 in his last six starts and has allowed 19 goals. He's going to have to be close to perfect going forward to keep the Bolts in the top-three in their division.
News: Jonathan Bernier suffered a lower-body injury in Thursday's game against Los Angeles and will not return, according to James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail. Analysis: Uh-oh. More on the severity as we get it, but we could be looking at a a week or two ... at minimum.
News: Ryan Callahan scored his first goal as a member of the Lightning in Thursday's win over the Panthers. Analysis: He has a three-game, three-point streak on the run right now and is also delivering hits and SOG. Not bad at all.
News: Valtteri Filppula had a three-assist night in a 5-4 win over Florida on Thursday. His point streak now stands at three games and five points. Analysis: Flip has 46 points, including 25 assists, in 61 games this season. Take advantage of this current streak -- he's being counted on to help carry the Bolts now that Marty St. Louis is on Broadway.
News: Patrik Berglund left in the third period of Thursday's 6-2 win and did not return after getting tangled up with the Oilers' Boyd Gordon. However, coach Ken Hitchcock said after the game that he "will be fine". Analysis: Patrik Berglund's leg was extended in a rather unnatural manner that had Blues fans holding their breath. Even if he was fit to return, the Blues likely held him back as they had a sizeable lead at the time and the game was getting chippy. Look for an update prior to Saturday's road game against Nashville.
News: Vladimir Sobotka was a beast in his return from injury, recording a goal, two assists, a plus-three rating and 12 PIMs in Thursday's 6-2 beatdown of the Oilers. Analysis: The man they call "Gumption" returned with a vengeance after missing nine games with a fractured knee cap. He opened the scoring for the Blues with just over a minute left in the first, flashing some sweet hands in tight before slipping the puck past a helpless Ben Scrivens. Of course, the lowly Oilers have the potential on any given night to make anyone look good, so you might want to wait for Vladimir Sobotka to turn in a few consecutive solid efforts before grabbing him. Sobotka's eighth goal ties his career high, and his 28 points leave him just one shy of his personal best set in 2010-2011.