News: Eddie Lack is slated to start Thursday's game against the Avs. Analysis: Eddie Lack, who has won four of his last five starts, will look Thursday to help the Canucks earn four straight wins for the first time since they last accomplished the feat, between October 26 and November 1.
News: Ryan Murray (lower body) won't play Friday against Chicago. Analysis: With Ryan Murray not slated to travel with the Blue Jackets on their two-game road trip, it looks like the soonest he might be back is Tuesday at home against New Jersey.
News: Rene Bourque (upper body) is expected to travel with the Blue Jackets on the team's upcoming two-game road trip. Analysis: That said, it remains unclear at this stage if Rene Bourque is considered a candidate to play either Friday in Chicago, Saturday in St. Louis, or even in both contests.
News: Alexander Wennberg (hand) will not travel with the Blue Jackets for their two-game road trip over the weekend. Analysis: Alexander Wennberg has since returned to Columbus after he was briefly required to remain in Vancouver upon sustaining a hand infection in a game last week against the Canucks, but it's not clear when his return to the lineup might come. He'll miss his third and fourth consecutive games due to the infection.
News: Brandon Dubinsky (upper body) practiced Thursday. Analysis: Meanwhile, coach Todd Richards indicated Thursday that Brandon Dubinsky -- who last played on March 15 -- is expected to suit up for Columbus on Friday against Chicago. The team should make an official ruling on Dubinsky's status following Friday's morning skate.
News: Martin St. Louis (knee) was encouraged by the results of his on-ice session Thursday morning, Andrew Gross of The Record reports. Analysis: Back on the ice for the first time since spraining his right MCL on March 15, Martin St. Louis was able to skate and shoot the puck during his hour-long session. The winger will wait and see how his knee feels a day later before determining his next course of action, but it doesn't sound like he'll be ready to play in either of the Rangers' two games over the weekend. Next week might represent a more realistic target for his return.
News: Brian Elliott is slated to start Saturday's game against the Blue Jackets, NHL.com's Lou Korac reports. Analysis: Moreover, Korac relays via coach Ken Hitchcock that Brian Elliott is in line to see the majority of the Blues' starts heading into playoffs, noting that Hitchcock rewarded Jake Allen for his strong game in Detroit last Sunday with another start in Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
News: Reto Berra saved 26 of 27 shots in a relief effort against Edmonton on Wednesday. The Avalanche lost, 4-3. Analysis: Reto Berra replaced Semyon Varlamov with 10:24 remaining in the first period. It was Berra's first appearance since March 10 and could potentially be his last of the season, depending on how coach Patrick Roy and his staff approach the final nine games of the season.
News: Lauri Korpikoski (mouth) will not play Thursday against the Sabres, Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic reports. Analysis: Lauri Korpikoski is still dealing with a bit of sensitivity in his mouth after he took a high stick to the area in Tuesday's win over the Red Wings. The Coyotes are labeling the forward as day-to-day, with his next chance to play coming Saturday against the Penguins.
News: Jay Beagle is expected to miss at least three more games with what the Washington Post describes an an apparent left shoulder injury. Analysis: "He's getting closer," coach Barry Trotz said of Jay Beagle on Thursday. "I don't anticipate him playing this weekend, if he did it'd probably be Sunday, but I don't really anticipate that. I expect him early next week sometime." Based on that assessment, Beagle, who last suited up on March 11, doesn't seem likely to return to the Caps' lineup before Tuesday's game against Carolina.