News: Jonathan Bernier will be between the pipes Thursday vs. the Kings, Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun reports. Analysis: Unsurprisingly, Jonathan Bernier will be back in the net after ceding the team's most recent start to James Reimer. Bernier has won three starts in a row, but he'll have his work cut out for his Thursday, as the Kings are perhaps the hottest team in the league at the moment. Los Angeles has won eight straight games.
News: Cody Franson (illness) is expected to return to the lineup Thursday vs. the Kings, Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun reports. Analysis: Cody Franson missed Tuesday's game with the illness, but was back on the ice at morning skate Thursday, a sign he'll probably be available. Even before the illness, Franson was struggling to stay productive for the Leafs. He hasn't scored a point since Feb. 1, a span of nine games.
News: Jonathan Quick was the first goalie off the ice at morning skate and will presumably receive Thursday's start against the Maple Leafs, Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times reports. Analysis: With wins in six straight games and save percentages above .920 in each, Jonathan Quick has probably been the top fantasy netminder since returning from an up-and-down Olympics. If his offense can remain even semi-reliable most nights, Quick has good odds of maintaining his winning ways.
News: Alex Stalock has been confirmed as Thursday's starter vs. the Blue Jackets, Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reports. Analysis: It will be his first career start against the Blue Jackets. Alex Stalock is 4-1-1 with a 2.41 GAA and .918 save percentage against Eastern Conference opponents this season.
News: Sergei Bobrovsky will draw the start in goal Thursday vs. the Sharks. Analysis: A winner of five of his last six starts, there's few goalies riding as high as Sergei Bobrovsky right now. He's been especially excellent his last two starts, shutting out the Predators on Saturday and limiting the Red Wings to one goal on 40 shots Tuesday night.
News: Ben Scrivens will be in goal Thursday vs. the Blues. Analysis: Though he yielded Tuesday's start vs. the Wild to Viktor Fasth, Ben Scrivens still seems to be in firm command of the No. 1 goalie job for the time being. Wins haven't been easy to gather for Scrivens, but he's been a saves machine in front of a leaky defense. Scrivens has posted a save percentage above .900 in all but two of his 10 starts with Edmonton.
News: Coach Dallas Eakins is hopeful Sam Gagner (ankle) will play Thursday vs. the Blues. Analysis: Sam Gagner apparently made it through morning skate without incident, and if he passes evaluation from the team's medical staff during the afternoon, he'd likely be cleared to suit up Thursday. The 24-year-old is in the midst of one of his most productive stretches of play on the season, as he's totaled seven points over five games in March.
News: Coach Lindy Ruff said that Kari Lehtonen (concussion) is close to a return and is awaiting clearance from doctors to practice, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports. Analysis: Once Kari Lehtonen joins the Stars for full practice, Ruff said the goalie would be viewed as ready to resume playing in games. It still seems most likely that Tim Thomas will receive the start Friday vs. Calgary, but Lehtonen could be ready to go for Sunday's tilt with the Jets.
News: Cody Eakin (lower body) is doubtful to play Friday vs. the Flames, Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News reports. Analysis: Cody Eakin was unable to skate at Thursday's practice and looks like he'll at least get an extra day or two to recover from the injury, which was likely sustained in Tuesday's win over the Blues. The Stars will likely call up an extra forward to take Eakin's place in the lineup Friday.
News: Alexander Sulzer (lower body) will return to the lineup Thursday vs. the Hurricanes. Analysis: Alexander Sulzer was given a one-to-two week recovery timetable after suffering the lower-body injury last Friday, but it appears he'll hit the low end of that frame after skating the last few days without incident. He's expected to replace Chad Ruhwedel in the Sabres' lineup.